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Ethiopians Willing to Take Up Arms for Russia

Dozens of young Ethiopian men continue to gather at the Russian embassy in the capital, Addis Ababa following rumours of soldiers being recruited to fight in the war in Ukraine. But the embassy’s spokeswoman, Maria Chernukhina, said no recruitment was being carried out in Ethiopia. She said the crowd was showing solidarity with Russia. “We have a lot of visitors to the embassy in order to express support for Russia… Some of them are telling us they are willing to help in any way they can. But we are not a recruitment agency,” Ms Chernukhina added. Many of the Ethiopians at the embassy were seen carrying their personal documents. Some of the volunteers are motivated by economics. They are desperate to get a job, even a potentially deadly job overseas, because they are unemployed. Also, most Ethiopians see Russia as a friendly nation politically. In the 1980s, Ethiopia was under communist leadership, and there are thousands of Ethiopian military personnel who were trained in what was then the Soviet Union.  Ethiopia was among countries that missed a UN session to vote on a resolution on the Russian invasion in Ukraine. Some 17 African countries including South Africa abstained from the vote.