Portugal appears in a table with the number of foreign fighters that the Russian Defense Ministry released, which reads that, since the beginning of the war, on February 24, 103 Portuguese fighters arrived in Ukraine, of which 19 have been “eliminated”, and 16 have already left the country.

Currently, the total number of Portuguese that Russia claims are fighting on the Ukrainian side is 68.

According to figures on the Russian side, around 7,000 “foreign mercenaries” from 64 countries have arrived in Ukraine since the start of the conflict, and nearly 2,000 of these have been killed by Russian forces.

"Our lists, as of June 17, include mercenaries and weapons experts from a total of 64 countries. Since the start of the special military operation, 6,956 have arrived in Ukraine, 1,956 have already been eliminated and 1,779 have left" the country, the ministry of Russian Defense said in a statement.

There are no comments on these figures either from the Ukrainian side or from independent sources.

Since the start of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, thousands of foreign volunteers, mostly Europeans, have travelled to the country to help forces in Kyiv.

Russia presents these fighters as "mercenaries," a pejorative term that suggests they are motivated by money.

Pro-Russian separatists sentenced three of these fighters to death, two British and one Moroccan.

For their part, Ukraine and its western allies emphasise that if there are mercenaries, they are on the Russian side, in particular elements of the Wagner group, whose members were moved from Syria to Libya via Mali.