Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

Cuban authorities arrested 17 people linked to a human trafficking network operating from Russia that is allegedly recruiting Cuban citizens to fight with Moscow’s military forces in Ukraine, Cuban state media reported Thursday, citing the Ministry of the Interior.

The Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the human trafficking network had been dismantled, according to Cuba Debate in Havana.

Colonel César Rodríguez, from the interior ministry’s General Directorate of Criminal Investigation, reportedly said the network’s traffickers were looking for people with criminal records. 

On Monday, the Cuban foreign ministry said it had uncovered the network, which was trafficking Cubans living in Russia and “even some in Cuba,” to be “incorporated into the military forces taking part in the war in Ukraine.”

At the time the ministry gave few details about the alleged trafficking operations, but said that authorities were working to “neutralize and dismantle” the network.

Cuba stressed in its statement earlier this week that it “is not part of the war in Ukraine.” The Kremlin has not commented on the allegations.

Some context: Cuba was a major ally of the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and relations between Havana and Moscow have remained cozy since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Cuba has been a staunch defender of Russia’s war on the country, blaming the US and NATO for the conflict.

As Cuba grapples with its worse economic crisis in decades, Russia has supplied the communist-run island with badly needed food and shipments of crude oil. Since the war began the two nations have signed a flurry of agreements promising increased Russian foreign investment in Cuba.

Source link

Leave a Reply