Several dozen former Afghan National Army Commando Corps members have been contacted by Russian Wagner recruiters to leave Afghanistan, where many of them are in hiding under the Taliban, to fight in Ukraine. At least 89 have been contacted thus far as the Russian group expands its recruiting campaign for U.S. trained fighters. According to a former Afghan commando officer, interviews by Foreign Policy:
“I am telling you [the recruiters] are Wagner Group. They are gathering people from all over. The only entity that recruits foreign troops [for Russia] are Wagner Group, not their army. It’s not an assumption; it’s a known fact,” he said. “They’d be better used by Western allies to fight alongside Ukrainians. They don’t want to fight for the Russians; the Russians are the enemy. But what else are they going to do?”
He added: “It’s not difficult,” he added. “They are waiting for work for $3 to $4 a day in Pakistan or Iran or $10 a day in Turkey, and if Wagner or any other intelligence services come to a guy and offer $1,000 to be a fighting man again, they won’t reject it. And if you find one guy to recruit, he can get half his old unit to join up because they are like brothers—and pretty soon, you’ve got a whole platoon.”
Now the prospects for former fighters look bleak as the Taliban continues to pursue and execute the American trained soldiers. Although some have found refuge in areas not controlled by the Taliban such as the Panjshir Valley, thousands either conceal their identity or live in poverty. Recruitment by Russian proxy forces is a real option for these men
The Afghan National Army Commando Corps(formerly ANA Commando Brigade; ANA Commando Battalion) was a commando force of the Afghan National Army (ANA). During the Taliban insurgency, the commandos comprised 7% of the Afghan National Security Forces but conducted 70% to 80% of the fighting. The unit structure was based on the 75th Ranger Regiment. After the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. forces from Kabul in September of 2021, hundreds if not thousands of the approximately 20,000 fighters were executed by the Taliban, while senior commanders and others were evacuated.
Around 500–600 Afghan troops made up mostly of commandos were reported to have also refused to surrender in Kabul and instead joined up with US forces at Hamid Karzai International Airport, helping them secure the outer perimeter of the airport during the 2021 evacuation from Afghanistan. (Wiki)