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3 Aug, 2023 18:00

Number of Russians who joined army in 2023 revealed

Russian Defense Ministry records show over 230,000 men have enlisted so far
Number of Russians who joined army in 2023 revealed

Almost a quarter million Russians have signed contracts to enlist in the military so far this year, Deputy Head of the National Security Council Dmitry Medvedev stated on Thursday. 

“According to Defense Ministry records, more than 231,000 people have signed enlistment contracts between January 1 and today, August 3,” Medvedev noted at the council meeting in Moscow. 

“First and foremost, we succeeded in adapting the contract enlistment system to the conditions of the special military operation, and this has yielded results,” Medvedev said, adding that a series of government measures intended to provide for both the soldiers and their families has contributed to making the contract service highly regarded.

Those who enlist receive a one-time bonus, get a credit holiday, and are guaranteed their old jobs once their service is over, although there is still work to be done on monitoring this in practice, Medvedev pointed out. Discrepancies in compensation between those who enlisted on contract and reservists who have been called up have also been eliminated, while every region of Russia has established its own program of incentives and bonuses as well.

In late June, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin that the enlistment rate was enough to raise an entire regiment per day. At the time, the number of contracts signed stood at 150,000.

Moscow called up some 300,000 reservists in September 2022. Putin has said on several occasions this year that there is no need for another mobilization yet. In a meeting with military correspondents in mid-June, the Russian president quipped that a call up would be required if Moscow decided to “march on Kiev.” 

Meanwhile, Ukraine has issued blanket mobilization orders in several regions. Last week, the national police and security service raided over 100 recruitment stations and medical commissions in 12 jurisdictions, alleging the existence of a fraud scheme to sell medical exemptions from the draft for $6,000 apiece.