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    Cuba Arrests 17 for Allegedly Helping Recruit Some of its Citizens to Fight for Russia in Ukraine

    Cuba Arrests 17 for Allegedly Helping Recruit Some of its Citizens to Fight for Russia in Ukraine

    HAVANA — Cuban authorities have arrested 17 people in connection with what they described as a network to recruit Cuban nationals to fight for in .

    The head of criminal investigations for Cuba's Interior Ministry, Cé Rodríguez, said late Thursday on state media that at least three of the 17 arrested are part of recruitment efforts inside the island country.

    He did not identify the alleged members of the network but said they had previous criminal records. Some families started speaking up about the case on Friday, and at least one mother said that her son was promised a job in construction in Russia.

    Cuba's Foreign Ministry said on Monday that the government had detected a network operating from Russia to recruit Cuban citizens living both in Russia and in Cuba to fight in Ukraine. It said authorities were working “to neutralize and dismantle” the network but gave no details.

    “Cuba is not part of the war in Ukraine,” the Foreign Ministry said in a news release.

    Cuba and Russia are political allies and Cubans do not require a visa to travel to Russia. Many go there to study or to work.

    In May 2023, a newspaper in the Russian region of Ryazan, about 100 miles (62 kilometers) southeast of Moscow, reported from a enlistment office there that “several citizens of the Cuba Republic” signed up to join the army. The Ryazanskiye Vedomosti newspaper quoted some Cubans as saying they were…

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