The Russian military is reportedly offering salaries up to 10 times higher than the country’s average to entice civilians to join its ground forces in Ukraine.
The information was disclosed by a non-profit organization called Ukrainian Victims of War (UVW), in collaboration with the Ukrainian Catholic University.
According to the report, potential recruits are being offered a monthly income of up to 700,000 rubles ($8,961), more than 10 times the average wage of 63,060 rubles ($807).
Military employers were found to have been using a popular jobs website to fill in around 5,800 vacancies.
Recruiters include the 43rd Regiment of the Russian Guard, as well as various military contractual recruitment offices in several regions.
“They are trying to use any possible means to recruit people, and they are activating their efforts,” UVW board member Yuriy Mukhin told Newsweek.
A Sign of Depleting Force?
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine revealed in a recent announcement that Moscow has already lost about 197,000 troops as of May 11.
The losses were attributed to heavy Ukrainian resistance, thanks to high-powered weapons and equipment donated by Western allies.
Mukhin considers the latest recruitment drive as a snapshot of Russia’s efforts to bolster its depleted forces.
It also reportedly serves as a way to fill in ranks, considering that the invading forces have lost key military commanders and officials in the war.
“After our research, we are confident that even this number of ads could have provided the Russian Army with about 80,000 recruits,” the UVW report stated.
⚡️ Colonel Бровко Евгений (Brovko Evgeny), deputy commander of the 2nd Guards Luhansk Army Corps for military and political work, was killed near Bakhmut, Ukraine on 13/14 May ’23. pic.twitter.com/CyNziFpeMA
— KIU • Russian Officers killed in Ukraine 🇨🇿🇺🇦 (@KilledInUkraine) May 14, 2023
Not the First Time
Last month, the Russian military launched a video campaign that challenged potential recruits to be “real men” and join the fight in Ukraine.
It also offered service contracts with monthly salaries starting from 204,000 rubles ($2,603), more than three times the average.
“Did you really dream of being this kind of defender?” the footage says, while showing a taxi driver, a security guard, and a fitness coach. “You’re a real man! Be one!”
In October, Russian President Vladimir Putin mobilized 300,000 reservists to join Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine.