Yemenis Die Fighting for Russia

Sheba Intelligence | 2024-06-04 12:13 PM UTC


Ahmed Al-Sahmi, a former Yemeni diplomat,  was killed while fighting for Russian forces during a confrontation with Ukrainian soldiers. Al-Sahmi is the third Yemeni citizen to die on the battlefield of the ongoing between Russia and Ukraine. He is originally from the Khawlan district in Sanaa.

Al-Sahmi was a member of Yemen's diplomatic mission in Moscow until 2017. After years of living in Moscow, he acquired Russian citizenship and got a work contract with a Russian military company. He had both Yemeni and Russian families.

According to informed sources, his Russian wife informed his Yemen-based children of his death on the battlefield.

The civil war in Yemen has forced lots of diplomats, officials, journalists, and researchers to stay in exile as they fear reprisal if they return to Yemen. 

Two Yemeni nationals were previously killed during their participation in the Russian war on Ukraine. Asaad Al-Kanani, a young Yemeni belonging to the Al-Ma'afer district in Taiz province, was killed in May on the Luhansk front near the Russian border. 

Since the end of last year, the young man Asaad Tariq Al-Kanani began publishing pictures on his Facebook page in a Russian army uniform, confirming his involvement in the war against Ukraine. Informed sources say that dozens of Yemeni young men have joined the Russian army.

In December 2023, Zubair Mohammed Ziyad, a Yemeni student, was the first Yemeni to be announced killed when he was fighting for the Russian army. Ziyad belonged to Ibb and obtained Russian citizenship.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Russia has recruited thousands of young people, students, migrants, and residents to fight in its ranks in exchange for financial incentives and citizenship. Hundreds of Arabs have been recruited, according to sources.

Yemeni activists blame the Yemeni Foreign Ministry and the Yemeni Embassy in Moscow, saying the Ministry and the Embassy would have adopted better procedures to help Yemeni diplomats and students overcome their issues. The activists said it is painful that Yemeni students and diplomats die in such a way and in such a battle.