Fury as Wagner mercenaries recruiting from a European nation to reinforce Putin's army

Russia: A mural depicting Wagner private military group is seen on a wall in Belgrade, Serbia
Russia: A mural depicting Wagner private military group is seen on a wall in Belgrade, Serbia

A Russian news video emerged claiming to show European volunteers training to fight with troops

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New Russian footage has sparked concerns as Wagner mercenaries appears to encourage recruitment in Europe for the war.

The video shows what looks like Serbian volunteers training to go to battle with the Russian army.

Serbia's president, Aleksandar Vucic, reacted with fury on national TV.

He said: "Why do you, from Wagner, call anyone from Serbia when you know that it is against our rules?"

A mural depicting Wagner private military group in seen on a residential building
A mural depicting Wagner private military group in seen on a residential building

It is illegal for Serbians to take part in conflicts abroad.

Critics have previously accused Serbia of prioritising its long-standing friendship with Russia over its ambition to join the EU despite President Vucic saying he has not spoken to President Putin in “many months”.

Some Serbian recruits did fight with Russia in Ukraine in 2014 but with no official endorsement.

Several people were convicted in Serbian courts for taking part in "fighting on foreign battlefronts".

Last week, the Wagner death's head emblem appeared on a city-centre wall in Belgrade and was signed by the People's Patrols, an extreme right-wing organisation which has previously staged pro-Russia rallies.

Serbia has consistently voted in favour of resolutions at the United Nations condemning Russia's aggression.

And this week President Vucic made Belgrade's position crystal clear: "For us, Crimea is Ukraine, Donbas is Ukraine, and it will remain so."

Serbia's president, Aleksandar Vucic, reacted with fury to the Russian video
Serbia's president, Aleksandar Vucic, reacted with fury to the Russian video

Although, Serbia has repeatedly refused to impose sanctions on Russia and for the second time, MEPs have passed a resolution calling for the suspension of Serbia’s membership until they agree to take action.

Serbia's president has been warning of "very difficult" conversations with EU and US special envoys - and says he will address Serbians over the weekend to tell them "what is required and expected from Serbia regarding Kosovo and sanctions against Russia".

"I know that EU is our path," he told Bloomberg News. "There are no other paths."