Since the end of 2022, rumors have constantly appeared in the media about the onset of the second wave of mobilization in Russia. The Ukrainian authorities and the secret services of other countries explain this move with the lack of men to continue a full-scale war in Ukraine. Il Kremlin denies these plans, while most experts agree that the Russian authorities are not ready to repeat the autumn mobilization that caused the panic in society and the leak of thousands of people from the country. Meanwhile, the Russian media URA.RU claims that, according to their information, one is being prepared in Russia information campaign on a large scale to recruit contract soldiers. According to reporters, the launch is scheduled for April 1st, although unofficial preparations in the regions started as early as February. By the end of the year, across the country, it is expected to recruit approximately 400 thousand soldiers professionals and the deputy chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation will control the campaign Dmitry Medvedev in person. The figure of 400,000 has been confirmed by various regional media. The Ministry of Defense has neither confirmed nor denied this news.
If the rumors are confirmed, it would be the recruitment of military professionals who sign a contract with the army. The need to make troops more professional was announced as early as December 2022 by the Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu. He ordered to increase the number of Russian military forces to 1.5 million people, nearly half of which are expected to be contract soldiers. However, it is unclear how many professionals are left in Russia who want to join the soldiers fighting in Ukraine. For example, the scientific director of the independent statistics center takenthe sociologist Lev Gudkovbelieves that it will be quite difficult for the state to attract 400 thousand contract servicemen.
Maybe that’s why the Russian opposition media Verstka, based on his sources in law enforcement and several regional governments, writes that military enlistment offices are starting a new recruitment of volunteers for war. Residents of the region of Voronezh (on the border with the Ukrainian region of Luhansk), for example, have already started receiving emails summons. At the same time, the authorities of the region emphasize that this is being done for gather information, not for anything else. Second Verstka, during the inspection the men will be offered to go to fight in Ukraine of their own free will. Journalists suggest that in this way the Ministry of Defense is trying to compensate for losses of the Russian army and specify that the most demanded military specialties are now the driver of armored vehicles e the gunner.
Indeed, the Russian military is experiencing an acute shortage of personnel after more than a year of conflict in Ukraine. According to various estimates, the total of irrecoverable losses of the Russian army, which include both fatalities and non-healable injuries in the short term, can currently go up to 280 thousand people. However, the Kremlin is clearly not planning a second wave of mobilization: the spokesman said on Wednesday Dmitry Peskov he stated again that there are no “discussions” on this topic either. As the American Institute for the Study of War notes, the point may be that the Russian authorities will resort to another means of supplying soldiers at the front. This week it was presented at the Duma of state a bill on the raising of the draft age limits. If earlier all male Russians aged 18 to 27 were undergoing compulsory military service, now recruitment into the army will be carried out up to 30 years. They plan to gradually increase the lower limit as well (up to 21), but so far the age range has only widened.