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Current Affairs

Syrian fighters in Ukraine

Date: 17 March 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous


Russian President Putin has given approval for bringing fighters from middle-east to fight in the Ukraine war.



The war has entered third week but it looks unlikely to end soon as a result of resistance from Ukrainian and volunteer fighters.



  • The fighters of middle-east will mainly be derived from Syria, where Russian army is currently engrossed in civil war to protect President Bashar Al-Assad.

  • The Russian administration was inspired from Ukraine, which has allowed enlisting of foreign fighters in form of International Legion for the Territorial Defense of Ukraine.


Syrian fighters

  • The long fighting in Syria has given rise to large group of armed factions, militias and mercenaries.

  • There are also members of National Defense Forces, Christian militia and army defectors who have skills in urban and guerilla warfare.

  • There are other remnant volunteer fighters of erstwhile Islamic State, who are ready to fight for any side for suitable price.


Why Syria?

  • The war-like situation in the country has created a steady supply of battle-hardened men. The state of economy has forced them to look for other options.

  • Russia is fast occurring loss of human lives in Ukraine and it is looking for cheap substitutes to keep the attack running.

  • This is not first time Syrian fighter are recruited elsewhere. Turkey has previously used tem for wars in Azerbaijan and Libya.


Russia’s offer

  • Russia has been offering wages between $200 and $300 to operate as security guards in Ukraine for six months.

  • Private mercenary group Wagner has also been conducting recruitment for deploying Syrian fighters in Ukraine.


Challenges for implementation

  • Syrian fighters are not particularly known to be competent fighters as seen in the war. However, they have very little to lose.

  • Most of these fighters do not speak local language of Ukraine neither are they familiar with the terrain or the harsh weather conditions.