This is an automated translation service for CiberCuba Website

New video of Cuban mercenaries in Ukraine: “Glory to Russia, glory to Cuba!”

The recording constitutes further evidence of the hiring of young Cubans to be part of the Russian army, a situation that has been denounced by Ukraine, Cuban civil society and relatives of those enrolled in a war that causes concern among the international community.

After 26 months from the beginning ofRussian invasion of Ukraine, new evidence continues to appear of the presence ofCuban mercenaries among the ranks of the Russian army.

A video shared through the communityReddit ‘Ukraine/Russia War Report’ It showed two Cuban mercenaries accompanied by a Russian soldier, cheering on the “friendship” between the regimes in Havana and Moscow.

“We also have our Cuban brothers, who came here from Cuba. Russia and Cuba, friends! Friends and brothers! Russia is our sister. We are friends, family. That's very good. Therefore, in favor of Russia and peace in the world: Glory to Russia! “Glory to Cuba!” the Russian officer and one of the Cuban mercenaries said in the video.

Although the video was published on said social network last November, the images are unpublished among the independent media that have been offering coverage of the presence of Cuban mercenaries among the ranks of the Russian army.

The recording constitutes further evidence of the hiring of young Cubans to be part of the Kremlin's army, a situation that has been denounced by Ukraine, Cuban civil society and some relatives of mercenaries from the Island, and that causes concern among the international community.

At the time of writing this note, the identity of the Cubans who appear in the video is unknown. Unlike other recordings, in this one the faces of the young people can be perfectly seen. Nor is anything known about their location, nor the military unit to which they belonged at the time of the recording.

CyberCubacannot affirm that the Russian uniformed man in the video isVladimir Shkunov representative of the Ulyanovsk Regional Office of the Russian Society of Friendship with Cuba and administrator of the Facebook group created by himself and named 'Russia for Cubans'.

However, the physical resemblance to the one with whom he was identified by independent Cuban media at the end of last September asone of the main recruiters of Cubans for the Russian Army, it is remarkable.

Graduated in History from a Soviet military academy and member of the Russian Communist Party, Shkunov frequently travels to Havana and maintains contacts with the main Cuban leaders.

As revealedCubaNet, at the end of June 2023, the Russian recruiter was among those invited to the official reception and decoration ceremonies of the Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR), The generalAlvaro Lopez Miera, held in Moscow.

In addition, he regularly participates in the activities of the Cuban Embassy in Moscow and maintains a close friendship with the ambassadorJulio Garmendia, the official who publicly declared that the regime was not opposed to a “legal participation” of Cuban citizens in the so-calledVladimir Putin “Russian special operation in Ukraine.”

Shkunov, who is the head of the Inzensky district in the Ulyanovsk Oblast, has been identified by the testimony of Cubans interviewed by the aforementioned media as the person who recruits Cuban mercenaries in Russia.

According to them, Russian recruiters lean towards young Cubans with military training, or who have completed Military Service. It is these young people who receive the “interesting proposals” through social networks, many of which use construction or other jobs as bait for military recruitment.

The 11 young people interviewed byCubaNet They claimed to have been recently linked – as soldiers or low-ranking officers – to the Cuban Army before being recruited to enlist as mercenaries in the Russian Armed Forces.

All of them acknowledged having received special training in infantry and martial arts, as well as having attended a talk on friendship between Cuba and Russia, offered by the Cuban military, and the suggestion of possible help in case the Russian Government requested it.

Likewise, all of them indicated having had a first contact with their recruiters on the Island and in Russia through Facebook, and also under the façade of a work contract for construction work. Only one of those interviewed was requested for “mule” services or merchandise smuggling, although the true purposes later became clear.

“Vladímir [Shkunov] writes to me and tells me that there are good jobs, that they are looking for young people for construction,” said one of them, who managed to be accepted although he could not travel to Russia.

“First he tells me that it is construction; I send him my information and about a week later he writes to me again asking me if I was willing to join the Army, that they would pay me well, and I answered yes, but that he couldn't pay for the procedures; Then he tells me that it doesn't matter, that they weren't even going to ask me anything [at the airports] neither here nor in Moscow. I had everything to leave but everything is frozen for the moment (...), they told me until further notice (...). Vladimir wrote to me only once after that to ask me if I was still interested (…). Of course I do, the thing is to get out of here and then we'll see," he added.

What do you think?


Filed in:

Do you have something to report?
Write to CiberCuba:

 +1 786 3965 689