The BBC reports that Social media channels and private messaging groups are being used in Russia to recruit a new brigade of mercenaries to fight in Ukraine alongside the army.
The BBC has spoken to a serving mercenary and a former fighter with close links to one of Russia’s leading mercenary organisations, who have shared details of the recruitment campaign.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russians of relying on terror tactics as their invasion continues.
In a post on Facebook after midnight in Kyiv, Zelensky predicts that “the actions of the Russian invaders will be equated with the actions of [Islamic State] terrorists.”
It came as he accused Russia of holding the mayor of Melitopol hostage and said that the number of evacuees rescued fell sharply on Friday.
“Despite everything, 7,144 people were saved,” he said.
He once again called on all Ukrainians to resist the Russians, and appealed to Russian mothers.
“Do not send your children to war in a foreign country,” Zelensky said. “Check where your son is. And if you have the slightest suspicion that your son could be sent to war against Ukraine, act immediately”.
He took a lighter tone towards the end of his address, noting that Ukraine is in second place in the medal count at the Paralympic Winter Games in China.
“Good news and the victories of Ukraine… are worth their weight in gold… or silver or bronze,” he said.
Source: BBC World