The Russian army sees foreign mercenaries and instructors in the special military operation zone who are recruited by Kiev, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with Belarussian leader Alexander Lukashenko.  
“<...> we see foreign mercenaries, foreign instructors in the battlefield and in the units where troops are getting trained. I think someone was taken prisoner yesterday or the day before yesterday,” Putin said adding that Russia did not need “to invite someone from the outside to fight for us.”
“I wish to underscore once again: 300,000 people have signed contracts as volunteers. Furthermore, the units that are being formed are getting modern types of weapons and equipment, some are already 85 to 90 percent equipped,” he said.   *** President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation on February 24, 2022 to protect Donbass residents from Ukrainian aggression. Prior to that, LPR and DPR Heads Leonid Pasechnik and Denis Pushilin asked the Russian leader to provide military assistance.*i