Russia has been arresting migrants who have attempted to cross the border into Finland and trying to recruit them into the Russian army, BBC News Russian reported on Wednesday.
A Somali citizen named Avad told journalists that he and multiple other foreigners were arrested for having expired visas and pressured to join the military under threat of deportation. Human rights advocates have reported receiving similar testimonies from other migrants.
According to Avad, he first came to Russia from Somalia in July 2023. He initially attempted to enter Poland from Belarus, but when that attempt failed, he decided to go to St. Petersburg and try entering Finland from there.
On his way to the Finnish border, Avad was arrested by Russian law enforcement. After a court ordered his deportation, he was put in a migrant detention center in the city of Petrozavodsk. When “men in uniform” came to the detention center and offered Avad and 11 other foreigners jobs “working for the state” instead of deportation, several of them accepted the offer.
After that, according to Avad, everyone who agreed was transported under military guard to a tent camp on the border with Ukraine. When they realized where they had been sent, they demanded to break the contracts they had signed and to be deported instead. After several weeks of the authorities trying to intimidate them into staying, Avad said, the migrants were informed they would be sent back to the detention center and deported.
Source : Meduza