Damaged armored vehicle in Ukraine
Damaged armored vehicle in Ukraine iStock

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense on Monday said that Russia had recruited another 400 Syrian mercenaries, bringing the total to over 1,000.

Around 400 Syrian mercenaries were said to have arrived in Russia and Belarus on Monday, signing up to join the other 600 recruits, UAWIRE reported.

“Russian occupiers continue to accumulate reserves on their territory for the war against Ukraine,” the Ministry of Defense wrote in a Facebook post on their official page. “Squads of mercenaries are formed, who are ready to perform the criminal orders of Russian commanders for a reward.”

The Ministry added: “According to the information available, mercenary recruitment centers have been opened in Syria, where over a thousand people have been recruited in recent days, about 400 people have already arrived in the Russian Federation. Near the Ukrainian border in the Rostov (RF) and Gomel (RB) regions, camps for their placement and preparation have been deployed.”

“Without significant success, the enemy continues to conduct systematic combat operations with bombers in order to destroy the military and civilian infrastructure of Ukraine,” the Ministry noted.

They accused the Russian forces of using “high-powered ammunition indiscriminately on civilians.”

“Such actions are classified by international humanitarian law as a war crime,” the Ministry said.

On Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of hiring Syrian mercenaries that he termed “murderers from Syria – a country where everything has been destroyed…like they are doing to us here.”

With the Russian invasion going into its 19th day, Russia has not experienced an easy victory as it predicted when it began its war against Ukraine.

In its Facebook post the Ministry said: “The Armed Forces of Ukraine, in cooperation with other components of the Defense Forces, are holding back the enemy, inflicting significant losses on manpower and military equipment, demoralizing its personnel both in combat areas and in reserve formation areas.”