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Putin claims over 500,000 new recruits joined Russian army over past year

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk September 12, 2023 4:16 PM 2 min read
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he speaks during the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum, September 12,2023, in Vladivostok, Russia.(Photo by Contributor/Getty Images)
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The Russian army has replenished its troops by 570,000 people, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on Sept. 12.

Speaking at the event's plenary session, Putin alleged that 300,000 conscripts were called up during the 2022 fall mobilization campaign.

On top of those mobilized, Putin claimed that 270,000 people voluntarily signed up to join the Russian military over the last six to seven months.

He added that up to 1,500 people do it "every day."

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In August, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported that Russia is trying to attract more volunteers to its armed forces by providing incentives like life insurance and healthcare coverage to all citizens who volunteer to fight against Ukraine.

However, the number of volunteers is not expected to meet the authorities' targets. By the end of 2023, Russia plans to recruit 420,000 military contract personnel, likely exacerbating the country's labor shortage, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported on Sept. 11.

Citing the Yegor Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, the analysis pointed out that Russia's industry shortage of workers already reached a new record of 42% in July 2023, a 7% increase compared to April.

The Russian authorities announced the mobilization of conscripts on Sept. 21, 2022, prompting one of the biggest waves of emigration in Russia's recent history, with hundreds of thousands of conscription-age men fleeing the country.

U.K. intelligence assessed that Moscow will likely seek to avoid further unpopular waves of mobilization in the run-up to the presidential elections in 2024.

At the same time, it is stepping up its campaign to recruit foreigners from neighboring countries and migrant workers to fight in Ukraine, the U.K. Defense Ministry said.

U.K. intelligence points to the fact that there are at least six million Central Asian migrants currently in Russia, "which the Kremlin likely sees as potential recruits."

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