December 14, 2023Digital Desk

Russian volunteers joining Ukrainian ranks to fight Putin’s troops, here's why?

Karabas, a young Russian, became disillusioned with Russia's invasion of Ukraine and decided to fight against his home country.

Source: AP

He joined the Siberian Battalion, a unit made up of Russians fighting in Ukrainian military ranks to oppose Russian forces.

Source: AP

Karabas spent almost a year planning and executing his journey to Ukraine to join Kyiv's troops.

Source: AP

The Siberian Battalion consists mainly of Russians from ethnic minorities in Russia's far east who aim to help oust Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Source: AP

Unlike other volunteer units, the Siberian Battalion is officially part of the regular Ukrainian army, undergoing thorough security checks before training and deployment.

Source: AP

Karabas went to Armenia first, learned the Ukrainian language, and refused to speak his native Russian.

Source: AP

The battalion's fighters left behind their lives, families, and friends, escaping to a third country before travelling to Ukraine.

Source: AP

Integration into the Ukrainian forces was a lengthy process, involving document scrutiny and extensive questioning.

Source: AP

The Siberian Battalion created six months ago, aims to have a 300-man-strong unit of Russian fighters based on applications received so far.

Source: AP

Karabas believes there are tens, if not hundreds of thousands, of Russians like him willing to fight alongside Ukraine.

Source: AP