Hezbollah denies sending fighters to Ukraine amid Russian war

Lebanese group Hezbollah has denied sending fighters to Ukraine to support Russian troops as Moscow’s war on Kyiv enters its fourth week.

"I categorically deny anything of these claims,” Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech late Friday. “These claims are lies that are bare of truth."

He added: "No one from Hezbollah, neither a fighter nor an expert, went to this battlefield."

Kyiv had earlier claimed Moscow recruited about 1,000 fighters from Syria and Hezbollah to fight in Ukraine.

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It came after Russian President Vladimir Putin last week gave the green light for volunteers from the Middle East to be deployed alongside Moscow-backed rebels to fight in Ukraine.

At a meeting of Russia's Security Council in Moscow, Putin said: "If you see that there are people who want to come on a voluntary basis, not for money, and support people living in Donbas, well, we need to come to meet them and help them move to the war zone."

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu had said there were 16,000 volunteers in the Middle East who were ready to come to fight alongside Russian-backed forces in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.

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Russia's "special military operation," which started on Feb. 24, has drawn international condemnation, led to severe financial restrictions on Moscow and spurred an exodus of global firms from Russia.

At least 816 civilians have been killed and 1,333 injured in Ukraine since the beginning of the war, and more than 3.27 million people have fled to neighbouring countries, according to UN estimates.

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