Russia has transferred around 1,500 troops from a military base in Tajikistan to Ukraine, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty revealed, citing sources.
Around 600 soldiers will be sent to the battlefield “in coming days” from facilities in Dushanbe and the southern city of Bokhtar, according to the outlet.
Citing a Tajik civilian employee at the Russian base, the outlet wrote that food ordered by Russian soldiers has decreased in the last few months.
The employee said soldiers were supposed to return to the base after spending four months in Ukraine. However, they haven’t been back.
“As far as I know, the servicemen were going to be there for no more than four months to take part in the special operation in Ukraine, and that they would then return here. But they haven’t returned yet,” the man said.
“It’s been said that the soldiers are on vacation now after completing their four months.”
Soldiers Also Moved From Kyrgyzstan
Russia stations around 7,000 troops in Tajikistan and 500 in neighboring Kyrgyzstan, according to a Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty estimate.
Citing residents, activists, and soldiers’ relatives in Kyrgyzstan, the outlet wrote that “hundreds of contract soldiers” from Russia’s Kant Air Base in Kyrgyzstan have also been deployed in Ukraine.
The outlet added that at least 90 contract soldiers from the region were unwillingly transferred to Kant and then to Ukraine.
Ten soldiers were killed in fighting there, while 20 were injured.
Russian Losses in Ukraine
The revelation comes as Ukrainian forces recently recaptured a sizeable chunk of lost territory in the northeast, forcing Russian soldiers to retreat.
As many as 80,000 Russian soldiers were either killed or injured by early August in the six-month battle, according to a US Depart of Defense estimate.
To shore up troop strength, Russian President Vladimir Putin recently ordered the Russian military to increase the number of soldiers by 137,000 to a total of 1.15 million.