Putin scrambling to find new recruits to send into Ukraine: report

According to a report from the Daily Beast's Shannon Vavra, officials at the Pentagon told reporters on Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin's desire to bring in foreign fighters to help with his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is not going well.

With the western world uniting against Russia's war on Ukraine -- and the invasion and subjugation of the country taking way longer than Putin reportedly believed it would -- "Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Friday that Russia is recruiting 16,000 people from the Middle East to help fight in Ukraine," the Beast reported.

However, as Vavra notes, U.S. military officials are claiming they aren't seeing an influx of foreign fighters headed into Ukraine.

“We are aware of recruiting efforts… in Syria,” the senior Pentagon official said for the record. “We haven’t seen indications that their recruiting efforts have borne fruit and resulted in the actual arrival of foreign fighters from that part of the world.”

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“We don’t know if 16,000 is really a target or just a talking point,” they added.

The report adds that Russia has indicated they are sending their own reinforcements into the country, which the Pentagon also has doubts about.

“Nothing to speak to in terms of Russian reinforcements of themselves. We haven’t seen any indications, at least not tangible indications, that they are trying to plus up their manpower from elsewhere," they said with Vavra adding, "Putin's planning in general hasn’t been in tip-top shape, intelligence officials told lawmakers in briefings on Capitol Hill this week. Russia has suffered between 2,000 and 4,000 casualties in just a matter of weeks, according to analysis from the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency shared with members of Congress. And for approximately a week now, a column of Russian forces has been stalling outside Kyiv, and have only made about five kilometers of progress in recent days, the senior defense official said."

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