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Newsline: Ethiopians queue outside Russian embassy in Addis Ababa to volunteer for fight in Ukraine

The queues formed early each morning outside the Russian embassy in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa. Drawn by rumours on social media, young men and old, many with their military records in hand, arrived with hopes of fighting for Russia in Ukraine. What began as a trickle of volunteers swelled over two weeks to scores, two neighbourhood residents told Reuters. Reuters reporters saw several hundred men registering with Ethiopian security guards outside the embassy. The guards recorded their names and asked for proof of military service. There is no evidence that any Ethiopians have been sent to Ukraine, nor is it clear if any ever will be. A man who came out of the embassy and addressed the volunteers in Russian through an interpreter said Russia had enough forces for now, but that they would be contacted when they were needed. The Russian embassy did not respond to questions from Reuters about the man’s identity or whether Russia was deploying Ethiopian volunteers to Ukraine. It issued a statement later on Tuesday saying that it was not recruiting fighters, and that the Ethiopians who showed up outside were well-wishers expressing “solidarity and support for the Russian Federation”. (https://news.yahoo.com/ethiopians-queue-volunteer-russias-fight-122944453.html) The Ethiopian foreign ministry welcomed the Russian statement for what it called “refuting the unfounded reports of recruitment for the Russian Armed Forces” but did not respond to Reuters questions. Neither did the Russian foreign ministry. Ukraine’s embassy in Addis Ababa referred questions to the Ethiopian authorities.

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