Desperate for Cannon Fodder, Russia Will Grant Citizenship to Foreigners Who Join Its Army

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree allowing foreigners who entered into contracts with the Armed Forces (AF) of the Russian Federation during the war in Ukraine to apply for Russian citizenship, according to a report from TASS, the Russian state-owned news agency. 

The decree, published on the official portal of legal information, extends this privilege to foreigners dismissed from military service in the RF Armed Forces under various circumstances, including health reasons, reaching the age limit, contract expiration, and the termination of martial law in the Northern Military District.

Relatives of these foreign citizens falling under the specified categories will also have the right to obtain Russian citizenship. The decree outlines a set of required documents for citizenship applications, including a passport, a contract for service in the RF Armed Forces lasting at least one year, and, if applicable, a certificate of name or surname change. Mandatory fingerprint registration is also part of the application process.

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Applicants’ relatives must provide medical certificates proving the absence of drug or psychotropic substance consumption, as well as the absence of infectious diseases hazardous to others. A certificate confirming the absence of HIV infection is also required. 

While Russian officials have dismissed Western estimates of casualties in their “special military operation” or invasion of Ukraine as vastly exaggerated, the country has resorted to various ways to draft new army personnel. Apart from relying on the private mercenary organization the Wagner group, Russia has gone as far as recruiting prisoners, and launching a partial mobilization.

In December, a declassified US intelligence report estimated that 315,000 Russian troops have either died or been injured in the invasion — that’s almost 90% of the personnel the Russian army had at the start of the war in February 2022.

Information for this story was found via TASS, Reuters, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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