Cuban authorities announce the arrests of 17 people for attempting to smuggle humans into Russian territory. The trafficking ring was accused of attempting to lure young men into a residential location to then ship them off to Ukraine to fight for the Russians.
Authorities also claim that the network was operating both out of Russia and on Cuban soil. Cuba’s department of the interior has not released the name of those arrested. The prosecutor, Jose Luis Reyes did say that those involved are looking between a minimum of 30 years to life, or potentially the death penalty depending on the severity of the crimes.
On top of trafficking charges, they are also being charged with fighting as mercenaries and committing a hostile action against a foreign state.
Russia and Cuba have historically had very strong ties. Russia set up a program allowing foreigners who signed up for service in the Russian army to be fast tracked for citizenship. Cuba does not want to involve itself in the war and has denied the use of its citizens as mercenaries for the Russians.