- By Vitaly Shevchenko
- BBC Monitoring
It seems that a large-scale advertising campaign has been launched in Russia urging citizens to join the army.
It comes as Russia’s armed forces are said to have suffered heavy losses and are struggling to make progress in Ukraine more than a year after its invasion.
Moscow Ministry of Defense Video released Appeal to the Russians to give up their civilian jobs in favor of contracting with the military.
The video features a supermarket janitor, a fitness instructor, and a taxi driver – all of whom appear to have become disillusioned with civilian life and found contentment after joining the army.
The video promises a monthly salary of at least 204,000 rubles ($2,500; £2,000), four times the Russian average.
Ukrainian promoters quickly sabotaged the advertisement and its production Modified version with wording changed. The characters in the video now oppose infanticide and beheadings, and “don’t want to be held responsible.” [President Vladimir] Putin’s war crimes”.
While the Russian version says “be a man,” the Ukrainian video responds with “be a man”—in other words, don’t commit atrocities.
The Russian video is part of a broader campaign that has received significant airtime on state television, and has also been featured in the press.
The campaign in the media goes hand in hand with the army’s advertisements on the streets of Russia.
“It is impossible to underestimate the extent of the army’s recruitment campaign,” he said. 1 Twitter user in the Russian capital.
“You have completely taken over Moscow and you can hardly go two minutes without seeing another poster.”
What the ads don’t say
The recruitment drive is likely motivated by the Russian military’s desperate need for fresh soldiers after more than a year of fighting in Ukraine.
In September 2022, President Vladimir Putin announced a “partial mobilization”, which sought to recruit new soldiers regardless of whether they wanted to join the army, and led to a decline in his popularity.
This time, the authorities in Moscow seem keen to avoid announcing the mobilization publicly.
“There is no talk in the Kremlin of a new wave of mobilisation,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on April 21.
He was responding to a question about reports that students in the Russian capital had begun receiving summonses.
under Decree of President Putin In September 2022, subscribers won’t be able to leave the army until the war is over – officially known as “Special Military Operation” in Russia.
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