Moscow, April 15: More than 16,000 former Ukrainian servicemen and civilian personnel have been employed by the Russian armed forces, a senior defence official said Tuesday.
“As of today, Russian citizenship has been granted to 9,268 Ukrainian servicemen and officers,” Russian First Deputy Defence Minister Arkady Bakhin said.
In addition, over 7,000 civilian personnel have been employed in the Black Sea Fleet, he said.
All former Ukrainian servicemen who have signed contracts with the Russian army are undergoing additional training in the Southern Military District, Xinhua reported.
Starting from May, these servicemen will be able to attend military institutions, Bakhin said.
After Russia absorbed Crimea last month, about 1,500 Ukrainian servicemen stationed in the peninsula had chosen to remain loyal to Kiev and were repatriated to the Ukrainian mainland.