Moscow to Allow Foreigners into Russian Army

Russian Army soldiers on parade.

MOSCOW (The Moscow Times)—President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree authorizing foreign citizens to serve in the Russian army and Interior Ministry troops, according to a document published on the Kremlin website.

Foreigners aged 18 to 30 can enlist in the military under five-year contracts on condition they speak Russian and have no criminal record, according to the decree, which was signed on Jan. 2 and published on the Kremlin website this past weekend.

The decree will enable scores of young men from former Soviet republics in Central Asia and other regions who have been flocking to Russia as migrant laborers to instead sign up as soldiers — likely earning higher salaries and receiving military benefits.

Russia has military bases in Tajikistan and Armenia, and units in the breakaway regions of Transdnestr in Moldova as well as Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia.

The decree also allows foreigners to serve in the national firefighting service or as Interior Ministry troops — a force that is deployed within the country to ensure order and combat insurgencies or riots.

Russia has lately been striving to increase the number of professional soldiers in the military as part of Putin’s wide-ranging military modernization and rearmament program.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in 2013 that half of the Russian military — or 500,000 soldiers — would be serving on professional contracts by 2022, RIA Novosti reported. The army is still primarily made up of conscript soldiers in a holdover from the Soviet era.


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  1. Hratch said:

    Welcome to the resurrected CCCP. The loss of national identity and independence is fully in motion. In short time, there will be one army, one parliament, one foreign policy and one currency among all willing (and unwilling) regional countries. Luckily Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and western Ukraine were savvy enough to have saved their necks from descending back into the dark ages.

    Although it’s too late, I’ll say it again and again….Long live free Armenian, God bless the Fatherland and protect it from all Russophiles both foreign and domestic !

  2. Hratch said:

    Any self respecting country would counter this charade by revoking the citizenship of any citizen serving in another country’s military. But like every thing else in the shadowy world of the new CCCP, bribes, payoffs, threats and corruption will fix everything to normal.

    • J E said:

      Hratch….immediately upon reading this, and before I took the opportunity to read your comments, I was thinking exactly the same as you have suggested. This is a very creative way for Russia to recapture Soviet territory without outright military invasion or political overthrow.

      What is to stop a German, Finn, American, Chinese, Ukrainian, Persian or the like from joining the Russian Army? Surely the nations at Russia’s borders will see this as a way to invoke internal strife and break their independence – if by chance – Russia offers a more lucrative package to a Russian speaking Moldovan – than the Moldovan army could offer.

      Revoke citizenship. Revoke any persons rights to live or work within sovereign national territory if he or she decides to sign with a foreign military force.

      I am certain that – once military command, and political leadership in the nations concerning Russia’s immediate domain – these people will be smart enough to limit Russia’s attempts to build a foreign legion.

  3. Hratch said:

    Does Mother Russia really need foreign mercenaries to protect and fight for her? Who and where are they fighting that even their current enlistment is insufficient?

    The real motive behind this is to consolidate and subjugate the region. Neighboring counties will undoubtedly be destabilized by this action. Boundary lines and allegiances will be further blurred. This is CCCP 2.0 where a more refined and cynical approach is being applied by the hegemonic bear.

  4. Armenian said:

    The lines that separate CCCP and Russia are increasingly blurring…

    The future is more like the past than ever before.

    On the other hand, I’m thinking about what a golden opportunity it is for our beloved Kremlin trolls Avetis and Sarkis. Where are you guys?! This is your ultimate chance to prove your loyalty to Mother Russia! Enlist today!

  5. Avetis said:

    I am waiting to see how our Captain America’s will spin this to make it look like Russia is preparing to exterminate Armenians.

  6. hye said:

    so mother russia needs Armenians to win wars. Out of 3 generals that fought(for Russia) against Napoleon 2 or 1.5((General Suvorov’s mother was Armenian), and Bagration=Bagraduni) were Armenians. I’m not even talking about 2nd world war.

  7. GB said:

    Russia’s islamization getting closer than ever. Russian mothers stop giving birth to Mother Russia!

  8. kars said:

    In the 1918 war of liberation and independence of Armenia, 90% of generals and officers that saved the remnant of the homeland were graduates from Russian military academies, or were serving in the Russian army. This is not a ” random recruiting campaign”; those foreigners enlisting would make the military a career, forming part of the professionally service units. If Armenians living in Russian, or in disaffected western countries, decide to join ,it is good for Armenia. Armenia would thus count with another layer of military skilled personnel fully trained in Russian academies and military schools. Armenia is a military nation state, they can not be anything else. The more Armenians with military science , expertise , knowledge and experience the better guarantee for Armenian security and independence. The military in Armenia is strong and efficient, every step to strengthen the military cadres and capabilities is welcome. From a geopolitical standpoint Armenian national interests are intertwined and linked with Russia. If Armenia-Russia relations weaken, it is bad for Armenia’s security and independence. Armenia is too important for Russia to be ignored. It is the pivot in the Caucasus. Likewise the Western and hegemons ( USA-Israel-) view Armenia as an important cog in the Caucassian wheel to unsettle and break down Russia’s presence. The two turkish states and Georgia are virtual satelites of the NWO hegemonists. The spoke in that wheel is Armenia . Armenia has no future as an independent nation state in the NWO. Diasporans Armenians should come to this realization and start acting in concert with what is best for Armenian national interests. There is a reason why the largest embassy compound in the region is the USA embassy in Yerevan. The size is humungous. Why such a huge compound ? Is it for the staff to enjoy a panoramic view of Mount Ararat ? Hardly. It is for other obvious purposes.

      • Hovsep said:

        Kars & Ardahan were surely sold. They said it was gifted but we don’t know what really happened. And the only gold Turks had was the one stolen to Armenians. This gold may now be sleeping in western banks.
        This is so unusual to give away territories, even these stupid sovietics won’t accept it freely..

  9. armen said:

    This probably has more to do with Ukraine than Armenia. A few thousand Armenians joining the Russian army isn’t going to make a difference, they want large numbers of Russian-Ukrainian conscripts to fight in Eastern Ukraine.

    • GB said:

      Millions of hungry Central Asians have a big numbers in RF and in Caucasus and clever Putin knows how to use them…he call mobilization of a new USSR!

  10. Hamik Gregory said:

    Russian Foreign Legion exactly like the French Foreign Legion! Quite possible only if these foreign military recruits can become Russian Citizens after five years of military service. That’s how they do it France! Aliens serving in French Foreign Legion can become French Citizens after five years of active duty.

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  12. Dave Fisherman said:

    I wish the U.S.A. had a C.I.A. backed Foreign legion like it did, during the Civil, war for the North.
    To fight ISIS, AS far as Moscow, is concernd I think in my opion, that if Russia wants to destroy Nazism,ect in the Ukraine and rest of the
    Russian, Federation cool, They should do that, buy hiring Mercenaries ect. then, help the U.S.A.
    and NATO fight ISIS. BUT I don’t belive Putin wants to take of all of Europe over, that’s nonsenses.
    I ‘d love to be an American Mercenary, and help Russia fight ISIS and NAZISM.
    I.’m to old thought.Thanks