Nigerians, Other Africans in Russia Face Pressure to Fight in Ukraine War for Visas — Bloomberg 


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Allegations of Coercion: A recent report by Bloomberg raises serious concerns about the treatment of African migrants and students in Russia. Citing unnamed European officials, the report alleges that Russia is pressuring these individuals to fight in the ongoing war against Ukraine in exchange for visa renewals.

Desperate Measures for Manpower: The report suggests that Russia, facing manpower shortages, is resorting to these tactics to bolster its forces. This strategy reportedly mirrors that of the Wagner Group, a private Russian military company known for recruiting mercenaries.

Visa Threats and Forceful Recruitment: The report details how Russian authorities are allegedly threatening African students and young workers with visa denials unless they agree to military service. The situation appears even more dire for some Africans on work visas, with reports of detention and forced choices between deportation or fighting. While some have reportedly managed to bribe officials to avoid service, these accounts paint a grim picture of coercion.

Unverified Claims and Need for Investigation: It’s important to note that these are unverified claims at this point. However, the seriousness of the allegations necessitates further investigation by international bodies and rights groups. The safety and wellbeing of African migrants and students in Russia must be a top priority.

Potential Repercussions: If confirmed, these reports could have significant repercussions. African nations may take strong diplomatic action against Russia. Additionally, the international community could impose further sanctions on Russia for its war tactics.

The Human Cost of War: The Bloomberg report highlights the devastating human cost of the war in Ukraine. Not only are Ukrainian civilians caught in the crossfire, but desperate measures are reportedly being taken to bolster Russian forces, putting vulnerable populations at risk.

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