Umm Muhammed Umar
Hundreds of people are reported to have lined up this week outside the Russian embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, allegedly in the hope of being recruited to fight for Moscow in its war with Ukraine. The embassy, however, has dismissed claims it was recruiting foreign fighters.
All Africa reports that the Russian embassy had claimed that the Ethiopians were present to demonstrate solidarity with Russia. Meanwhile, according to witnesses, while the Ethiopians had not been allowed inside the embassy, staffers have come outside to collect their documents.
Economics seemed to be a major motivator. All Africa reports that Ethiopians were desperate for work, even a potentially deadly job overseas, due to unemployment in the country.
Most Ethiopians reportedly viewed Russia as a friendly nation, politically. All Africa reports that in the 1980s, Ethiopia was under communist leadership. There are, therefore, thousands of Ethiopian military personnel who had been trained in the then, Soviet Union.
The press attache for the Russian embassy in Addis Ababa, Maria Chernukhina, stressed that the Russian embassy was not recruiting people, as that would not comply with its responsibility as a diplomatic mission.