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Russia seeks to recruit 400,000 contract servicemen in 2024 − UK intelligence

Wednesday, 10 April 2024, 13:13
Russia seeks to recruit 400,000 contract servicemen in 2024 − UK intelligence
Russian occupiers. Photo: Ria Novosti

UK intelligence has revealed how many contract soldiers Russia plans to recruit in 2024 and how it uses conscripts.

Source: European Pravda; UK Defence Intelligence review dated 10 April on X (Twitter) 

The UK intelligence service notes that Russia is seeking to recruit about 400,000 contract soldiers in 2024, necessary to support its forces in Ukraine, which have suffered huge losses.


Quote: "This is to sustain its forces in Ukraine, which have suffered huge losses, and support its announced plans to increase the size of the armed forces to 1.32 million this year and 1.5 million subsequently," the review says.

At the same time, the intelligence service says, Russia continues to recruit soldiers each spring and autumn, and this spring it plans to draft about 150,000 soldiers aged 18 to 30, which is the same number as in previous years.

According to the UK Defence Ministry, these recruits will serve for 12 months in all branches of the Russian armed forces, but they are not currently involved in hostilities in Ukraine.


Read more: UK intelligence explains why Russia loses "prestigious" missiles during launches in Ukraine

"Conscripts are employed in garrisons across Russia. In land units they generally form a battalion separate from the battalions staffed by contract service soldiers," the review says.

Some conscripts are likely to serve in Russia’s regions adjacent to the border with Ukraine, in units that provide border security, intelligence notes.

However, conscripts are usually pressured to join the service under a contract, in which case they would be responsible for serving in Ukraine, UK Defence Ministry added.

"There is likely to be some reluctance among Russian authorities to risk combat casualties among conscript soldiers, which would likely be unpopular.  Casualties among volunteer soldiers are more tolerated by society," UK Defence Ministry concludes.


  • Previously, UK Defence Intelligence noted that the average daily losses of Russian troops on the battlefield in Ukraine decreased during March. 
  • Meanwhile, NATO's assessment is that Russian leader Vladimir Putin will try to delay the announcement of the next wave of mobilisation.
  • Earlier, UK Defence Intelligence suggested that the upsurge in attacks on military enlistment offices and similar institutions in Russia may indicate a lack of confidence in Russian leader Vladimir Putin's promise not to conduct a new wave of mobilisation.

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