Tensions in Ukraine remain high after Putin and Biden’s video call earlier this month. There have been American intelligence reports that Russia has prepared for a full-scale invasion of the country. Still most agree that a hot war remains unlikely.
However, Meduza’s sources say that Russian recruiters have started mobilizing mercenaries for operations in Donbas, the region of southeastern Ukraine that borders Russia north of the Sea of Azov.
A Meduza correspondent spoke with some of the mercenaries themselves. One of them who participated in operations in Syria as a member of the Wagner Group said he got a call from a recruiter in the fall saying new projects were in the works. The recruiter mentioned training would occur in Vesyoly, a Russian town about 100 miles from Crimea where mercenaries trained before invading in 2014.
The source said this raised red flags for him and he refused to continue with the requests. His opinion is that although there may be preparations going on, the likelihood of some sort of full-scale invasion remains low due to outside optics of the situation.