The Russian Defense Ministry has launched a major campaign to recruit more soldiers by appealing to "potential recruits' masculine pride," the U.K. Defense Ministry said on April 23.
In its daily bulletin, the ministry said the "pervasive campaign" that relies on advertisements looking for "real men" is carried out across Russian social media, billboards, and on television. They also highlight the financial benefits of joining the army, it added.
The authorities are seeking to delay a new wave of mobilization of conscripts for the war against Ukraine for as long as possible to minimize domestic dissent, the ministry said.
Russia's ramp-up of army recruitment campaigns comes as Russia is making small gains on the battlefield.
Among the recruitment advertisements seen in Moscow is a poster that reads, "our profession is to protect the motherland."
A leaflet shown by pro-Kremlin Russian media promises up to 340,000 Rubles (about $4,200) worth of monthly salary for fighting in Ukraine, as well as financial assistance for potential recruits' families.
While Russian soldiers and their relatives have often complained about not receiving their salary on time or in the amount promised, the latest recruitment move appears to be targeting families that are facing financial hardships due to Russia's shrinking economy.
The campaign comes more than half a year after the Kremlin announced what it claimed was a "partial mobilization" of 300,000 troops to fight in Ukraine. And with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin's decree on the mobilization still in force, Russia could launch a second wave of mobilization.
Back in fall 2022, Forbes Russia reported that more than 700,000 Russians had rushed out of the country shortly after Putin announced the mobilization.