- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 30, 2023

With Russia’s war against Ukraine now in its second year, the Kremlin is looking for almost a half-million fresh soldiers to fill its ranks ahead of spring ground offensives from both sides.

Moscow officials are preparing to kick off a major recruiting campaign with the aim of signing up 400,000 troops. They are presenting it as a drive for volunteer, professional soldiers rather than conscripts, British defense officials said Thursday, citing Russian media reports.

“There is a realistic possibility that in practice, this distinction will be blurred and that regional authorities will try to meet their allocated recruitment targets by coercing men to join up,” U.K. intelligence officials said in an assessment on Twitter.

Large-scale protests have occurred throughout Russia since the start of the invasion of Ukraine. Moscow likely chose to characterize future recruits as “volunteers” to minimize domestic dissent. However, it’s unlikely the latest campaign will attract 400,000 genuine volunteers, British officials said.

Rebuilding Russia’s combat power in Ukraine will require much more than just fresh troops. The Kremlin needs more munitions and other military supplies than it currently has available, officials said.

• Mike Glenn can be reached at mglenn@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide