Russian army ramps up recruitment as steep casualties thin the ranks

Just a few weeks after the Feb. 24 invasion, online job sites began advertising thousands of positions offered by the Defense Ministry, which is looking for all kinds of service members, from antitank grenadiers to drivers and reconnaissance snipers. The listings, which were first reported by the BBC Russian service, are republished or updated every few days.

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In a recruiting ad posted in Rostov-on-Don, just a few hundred miles away from Ukraine, a deep voice narrates: “Test the limits of your abilities! No, screw the limits, are you ready to break yourself every day?” The action-packed ad continues: “You’ve decided to prove something to yourself. You are trying to detect an enemy in every shadow because if there is no enemy, there is no fight, and if there is no fight, there is no victory.”

Recruitment efforts have been particularly obvious in St. Petersburg, where an inflated figure of a smiling, uniformed officer waved at passersby earlier this month, beckoning them into an enlistment office to learn more about the perks of serving in a professional army.

Job listings and recruitment fliers offer a modest base pay that can go up to $3,500 to 4,000 a month with bonuses. Each day of combat, for instance, yields extra pay of about $55. These sums eclipse the Russian median salary of about $600 dollars a month and, together with low-interest mortgages and various other subsidies, can be appealing, especially in a shrinking economy.

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