The Russian military command plans to strengthen the defense of Crimea with 1,200 conscription officers from Moscow and St. Petersburg.

The Russian Ministry of Defense is trying to replenish occupying Russian troops in Ukraine with fresh manpower. Previously, the main “donors” of soldiers were Buryatia, Tuva, the republics of the Caucasus, and other unfavorable parts of Russia. However, their mobilization potential is exhausted, so the Russian military command has stepped up its mobilization campaign in the Moscow and Leningrad regions and increased the participation of private military companies. 

According to the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the Russian military commissariats of even the Moscow and Leningrad Regions, including Moscow and St. Petersburg, have received instructions on the mass conscription of residents for military service.

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During the covert mobilization, military units stationed in Crimea will be equipped with conscription officers from Moscow and St. Petersburg. The aim is to resupply the military units of the Russian Federation stationed in the temporarily occupied territory of the Republic of Crimea and strengthen the defense of the Crimean Peninsula with 1,200 conscripts.

Since combat operations are not being conducted on the armed forces stationed in Crimea, these servicemen are not being offered the chance to sign a contract, which may indicate cost savings and reluctance to pay all the allowances specified by legislation of the Russian Federation. Around 1,200 conscripts will serve and die under blows from Ukrainian troops for a conscript’s salary, which is about 5 thousand rubles a month (about $82).

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According to Ukrainian military intelligence, covert mobilization in the central and south-eastern regions of the Russian Federation was a failure. It is noted that Russians “increasingly refuse to die for the ideas of the Kremlin dictator.”

Taking this into account, the Russian Ministry of Defense also decided to increase the number of private military companies and mercenaries participating in hostilities on Ukrainian territory. Russia’s military command is also actively using representatives of the Wagner and Liga private military companies. According to estimates made by the military intelligence of Ukraine, there are 4,500-5,000 such mercenaries in temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.

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“They work in certain directions as assault units that operate on the first line of offensive troops,” Ukrainian intelligence says.

In an interview with Reuters, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he proposes to launch a special program for Russian soldiers who no longer want to fight in Ukraine.

“The message: save yourself and run away. Lay down your weapons, surrender to Ukrainian forces and get a chance to start a new life,” he Kuleba.

“I am sure this offer is worth it because even if one Russian serviceman lays down his arms and decides to leave, it means saving Ukrainian lives and bringing peace closer,” said Kuleba.

Covert mobilization in the Moscow and Leningrad Regions was stepped up on August 27, with the authorities conducting a propaganda campaign and motivating men to sign contracts to go to war in Ukraine.

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