Moscow claimed on Thursday that it had successfully halted the influx of foreign “mercenaries” into Ukraine during the previous month, killing “hundreds” of them.
“Hundreds of foreign mercenaries have been annihilated by Russia’s long-range precision weaponry shortly after their arrival” in Ukraine to undertake training, according to a statement from the Russian defence ministry.
“Due to their low level of training and lack of genuine combat experience, the majority of the mercenaries have been destroyed in combat zones.”
The Russian army claimed to have halted the influx of foreign mercenaries into Ukraine, estimating their current number at around 3,500 in the pro-Western country.
The entry of foreign mercenaries has “almost dried up” since the beginning of May, according to the military ministry, with the total number “nearly halving from 6,600 to 3,500 personnel.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin dispatched troops to Ukraine on February 24 in order to “de-militarize” and “denazify” the pro-Western country.
Up to 20,000 mercenaries from the Russian private military organisation Wagner Group, as well as from Syria and Libya, were fighting with Moscow’s forces in Ukraine, according to a European official in April.