Russia is using all means to fight against Ukraine, including using young people from Cuba. Photo/Reuters
MOSCOW – A Cuban teenager unknowingly finds himself on the front lines of the war in Ukraine. In fact, he initially accepted a job offer he received via WhatsApp to do “construction work” for the Russian military.
Alex Vegas Díaz, 19, and a friend were taken to a military base, equipped with weapons, and then sent to fight. As reported by TIME magazine.
In one video dated August 31, 2023 that went viral, Vegas Díaz is seen in a Russian hospital recovering from an unspecified illness. According to TIME, he said he would be sent back to the front lines once he recovered.
From his hospital bed, he begged for relief from the condition. Vegas Diaz added: “What’s happening in Ukraine is terrible—seeing people with their heads exposed in front of you, seeing how people are being killed, feeling the next bombs falling on you.”
According to TIME, Vegas Díaz said in a video: “There are Cubans dead, there are Cubans missing, and this will not end until the war is over.”
He added: “We know Cuba is aware and our advice to the Cuban people is don’t come here. This is the craziest thing. Crazy. Don’t do it.”
TIME reports that Vegas Díaz was part of a major operation that openly recruited hundreds of Cubans to join Russian troops fighting in Ukraine.
The recruitment effort involved advertisements for employment contracts with the Ministry of Defense in Russia that began appearing in Cuban Facebook groups in June.
It is said that recruits were offered 204,000 rubles or USD 2,120 per month (Rp. 32 million).