Latvian TV programme claims Russian embassy in Riga recruits mercenaries for Donbass separatists

This can be done at the Russian embassy in Riga – at least this is what several Latvian citizens, intending to become mercenaries in Ukraine, have claimed to Latvian journalists, reports quoting Sunday’s LTV Panorama broadcast.

Despite the fact that no Latvian-based group with known radical political leanings has admitted to recruiting mercenaries, this is confirmed, for example, by Vladimir Linderman’s national bolsheviks.

Meanwhile Tatyana Zhdanok’s Russian Union claims that they understand Latvian citizens who wish to go fight in Donbass to protect Russian-speakers there.

There is also interest among the activists of the Soglasiye party. Anonymously, they told the Latvian reporters how the Russian Embassy in Riga is prepared to quickly process required paperwork and promises large payments.

The journalists spoke to several men, ready to sign up and go to fight in eastern Ukraine. Sergey described how he had already submitted his documents and could leave for Ukraine any day. According to him, mercenaries are paid 1,500 euros for each kill.

According to the broadcast, Russia is also more than glad to hire former inmates from Latvia’s prisons, who are prepared to go fight in Ukraine. According to Dmitry, they are required to relinquish their Latvian citizenship and then can immediately collect their tickets at the embassy and go to Ukraine.

“They didn’t simply say there’s a possibility of doing this, but stated “We are looking forward to you going there.” This is what I think – I could go wherever. I have no idea how much time I will spend there, but I will know I am protecting my identity, that I am a Russian and I have the right to do so,” said Dmitry.

The only obstacle standing in his way is the fact that he has been released on parole and cannot leave Latvia yet.

Meanwhile the Russian Embassy’s press office in Lithuania has denied the existence of any such programmes or their financing.

Responding to DELFI’s request for clarification, the embassy has informed that the consular section in Lithuania has not received any requests to go to the self-declared People’s Republics of Luhansk and Donetsk.

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