The Russian military is offering up to 10x an average salary to fill its ranks depleted by Ukraine invasion casualties
- An investigation has found that Russia has been using a popular job website to entice war recruits.
- Some of the roles offer salaries 10x the average Russian monthly salary of 63,060 rubles ($810).
The Russian military has been using a popular jobs website to entice recruits by offering big paydays to reinforce its depleted ranks, according to a report by the non-profit Ukrainian Victims of War and the Ukrainian Catholic University.
The investigation said that the military was offering salaries up to 700,000 rubles a month ($9,200), more than 10x the average Russian monthly wage of 63,060 rubles ($810).
Data analysis found that 5,874 jobs were advertised on HeadHunter.ru between August 2022 and March 2023.
Military employers searching on the site included the 43rd Regiment of the Russian Guard and the contractual recruitment office for military service in Tver Oblast and the Kemerovo and Novgorod regions.
"They are trying to use any possible means to recruit people, and they are activating their efforts," Yuriy Mukhin, a board member of the NGO, told Newsweek. He called the report a snapshot of the Russian efforts to bolster its depleted forces.
"After our research, we are confident that even this number of ads could have provided the Russian army with about 80,000 recruits," said the Ukrainian Victims of War report.
Last month, Insider's Michael Peck also reported that Moscow promised big payments to fight in Russia's troubled invasion of Ukraine.
This is causing problems, however, as not only does it mean that personnel costs are devouring one-third of the defense budget, but in some cases, newly conscripted troops are being paid more than combat-experienced officers, including the ones training them.
"In all my military service, I have never seen ordinary soldiers get more than the officers who command them," Yuri Netkachev, a retired lieutenant general, told Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta.
'You're a real man. Be one'
Russia's scramble to recruit more soldiers comes amid mounting war losses that indicate the ranks of the armed forces could be severely depleted.
More than 100,000 fighters from the Kremlin's forces have been killed or wounded since December alone, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said last week, NBC News reported.
Last month, the Russian military launched a video campaign to lure more soldiers into fighting in Ukraine. It challenged potential recruits to be "real" men and cast aside banal civilian life for glory on the battlefield of occupied Ukraine.
It ends with the slogan "You're a real man. Be one," and offers service contracts with monthly wages starting from 204,000 rubles ($2,500).
The non-profit says that interest in the opportunities has steadily increased, going from seven applications per listing in January to 13 in March.
Ukrainian Victims of War has said that this increase in job applications "may indicate the activation of mobilization in the Russian Federation," first launched in September 2022.
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