Russia Claims Ukraine is Recruiting Mercenaries in South Korea | Be Korea-savvy

Russia Claims Ukraine is Recruiting Mercenaries in South Korea

Siberian Battalion of the International Corps of Ukraine (Image courtesy of EPA-Yonhap)

Siberian Battalion of the International Corps of Ukraine (Image courtesy of EPA-Yonhap)

SEOUL, April 17 (Korea Bizwire) – The Russian state-run news agency RIA Novosti reported on April 17 that Ukraine has been persisting in its attempts to recruit mercenaries from South Korea through internet communities and social media.

According to the agency, a post appeared on a popular South Korean online community on April 10 in which a Ukrainian combat group advertised for new recruits.

The ad stipulated that applicants must meet certain physical requirements, such as being able to do 10 pull-ups, 50 push-ups, and run 3 kilometers within 15 minutes. It also stated that candidates should not abuse drugs or alcohol. The age range was set between 20 and 35 years old.

While the ad noted that previous military service, engineering expertise, drone operation skills, marksmanship, foreign language proficiency, and driving abilities were not mandatory, having such qualifications could increase one’s chances of being accepted.

Interested individuals were instructed to send an application with their name, combat experience, and contact information to a specified Telegram account.

Tracing the Telegram account revealed that it belongs to a Ukrainian military company. The post on the South Korean community appears to be a translated version of a Ukrainian-language ad originally posted by this military company.

The post did not explicitly target South Korean nationals for recruitment.

It remains unclear whether the ad was translated and posted on the South Korean community by a Ukrainian official or by a curious South Korean user.

RIA Novosti speculated that the post first circulated on private channels before appearing on public online communities. The agency also claimed that the same ad surfaced on another popular South Korean community on April 14.

The report also noted that some South Korean users expressed skepticism about the ad, commenting that the physical requirements seemed relatively lax.

Last month, on March 15, the Russian Defense Ministry stated that 15 South Koreans had participated in combat on the Ukrainian side over the past two years, with five of them being killed. However, South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup dismissed the claim as “a unilateral assertion by Russia that has not been verified.”

In the early stages of the Ukraine crisis two years ago, the Ukrainian Embassy in Seoul caused controversy by announcing that it was receiving inquiries from South Koreans interested in joining the foreign legion and providing information on the enlistment process.

The South Korean government subsequently warned that entering Ukraine, a country under a travel ban, could result in criminal prosecution.

M. H. Lee (

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