Cuba makes 17 arrests over scheme to recruit locals to fight for Russia in Ukraine

The Cuban authorities have announced the arrest of 17 people over the attempted recruitment of Cubans to join the Russian army to fight in Ukraine, Reuters reported on Friday.

“As a result of the investigations, 17 people have been arrested so far, among them the internal organiser of these activities,” Colonel Cesar Rodriguez of the country’s Interior Ministry said late on Thursday, though he did not name those in custody.

Prosecutor Jose Luis Reyes said that the punishment for such a crime could be life imprisonment or even the death penalty.

The Cuban authorities revealed earlier this week that they had uncovered a Russian operation attempting to recruit Cubans to fight in Ukraine, while stressing that Cuba was “not part of the war in Ukraine”.

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