Russian oligarchs help recruit mercenaries for Ukraine war- report
Photo: EPA

Companies linked to Russia's biggest oligarchs, including Oleg Deripaska and Leonid Mikhelson, are helping recruit mercenaries for the war against Ukraine as they are yet to be blacklisted, Important Stories, an independent Russian news media outlet, reported.

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A case in point is Rusal, one of Russia’s largest companies which is among the biggest global aluminium producers. The world is so dependent on Rusal that only Ukraine has imposed sanctions against it, while its main owner, Oleg Deripaska, is under sanctions in most Western countries.

First, Rusal registers mercenaries with the companies related to the oligarch, such as Ruslan, a private security company, or Aeroterminal, which works in the construction and repair of airports.

The fictitious employee then signs a contract with the Russian defence ministry, and his employment contract is terminated.

Later, the mercenary receives money from both the ministry during his stay at the front, which allegedly amounts over USD 2,000, and from Mr Deripaska’s companies, which is over USD 1,000.

In the bank statement, the money from the private company is described as a ‘non-refundable payment’ to a person performing military service under a contract.

The mercenaries are sent to the Sokol private military company, which is actually part of the Russian army.

Officially, Rusal denies any involvement in financing Russian mercenaries.

In addition to Deripaska, there are at least several companies, including Novatek, Mospromstroy, and PIK, that recruit mercenaries for the Russian army.

In some Russian regions, mercenaries are being paid more and more: In Yakutia, they are already offered almost USD 9,000.