Leaked video shows Chinese army officers working as military advisers for Russia and former Chinese soldiers working as mercenaries to fight Putin’s war in Ukraine

A Russian officer is using mobile phone translator to talk to a Chinese officer on the front line. Screen grab Telegram channel.

Tens of thousands of Russian soldiers have perished in Ukraine since Moscow started its “special military operation” in February 2022. However, it’s no secret that the Kremlin has sought some outside help to deal with an increasingly critical situation.

Newsweek writes that footage shows that Chinese mercenaries supposedly have been spotted fighting in for Russia on Ukrainian soil.

The footage was shared by Pavel Kukushkin on his Telegram channel. Kukushkin has been described as a Russian military blogger, correspondent, and independent journalist that has appeared on pro-Kremlin media such as Russia-1.

A Chinese officer is working as an advisor to the Russian army.

The footage shows two men sitting on opposite sides of a table, communicating in Russian and Mandarin through an online voice translator.

“There is no language barrier! A volunteer from the People’s Republic of China communicates with the commander of the Pyatnashka International Brigade using an online translator,” wrote Kukushkin on his Telegram channel.

Pro-Kremlin online news outlet Novorossia Today explains that Pyatnashka is a brigade of the Donetsk separatist forces commanded by Akhra Avidzba and controlling the captured Ukrainian city of Marinka.

A Chinese officer is working as an advisor to the Russian army.

“The Chinese unit in the Pyatnashka brigade is growing. More and more are constantly arriving. Our Chinese brothers have also come to us”, a Russian serviceman says to the camera.

Newsweek could not verify the authenticity of the video. However, this is not the first time that Moscow has been accused of using international mercenaries to fight in Ukraine.

There are many reports of the Kremlin seeking to recruit able-bodied men from Russia’s neighbors, such as Armenia and Kazakhstan, and abroad.

AP News reported in early March that India was in talks with the Moscow government to bring back 35 Indian citizens that were tricked into serving the Russian military by a human trafficking network.

In 2023, the Cuban government made public that there was a network recruiting Cuban nationals to fight as mercenaries in Ukraine. However, no connection was made linking the human trafficking network to the Kremlin.

Meanwhile, in 2022, the US Department of Defense claimed that Russia was reportedly seeking to draft Syrian militants through the Wagner Group to fight against Ukrainian troops.

Then, there’s PMC Wagner. This Russian private military company have in the past been present in conflicts in Africa and the Middle East and was regarded as close to the interests of the Russian government.

However, the bond between the Kremlin and the Wagner Group was deeply affected, to say the least, after the mercenary group led an armed rebellion in June 2023. The uprising ended when the mutineers accepted to either sign contacts with the Russian Ministry of Defense or exile in Belarus.

Among those accepting exile was Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin, once a friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin and leader of the rebellion, who died in a mysterious plane crash a few months after the failed uprising.

It is open to speculation if such aggressive recruiting tactics outside of Russia’s borders are a sign that the country is feeling the strain of the Ukrainian war in its citizens.

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