Moscow has launched a video campaign to try to lure more of its citizens to become professional soldiers and meet the recruitment targets set by Putin to fight in his illegal war in Ukraine.

With imposing rock music in the background, it challenges Russia’s youth to show they are “a real man” and swap what it casts as hum-drum civilian life for the battlefield.

It begins with a young man standing in a supermarket, dressed in military uniform holding a heavy machine gun. This then switches to show him instead in the uniform of a supermarket security guard with the question “Is this the kind of defender you dreamed of becoming?”

Next, we see another a man walking through the fog with other soldiers on what looks like a battlefield. He is then shown as a gym instructor helping a client to lift weights. “Is this really where your strength lies?” the video asks.

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It then cuts to a taxi driver, taking a passenger’s fare, who then transforms into a soldier on the battlefield. “You’re a man. Be one,” the ad concludes.

The ad invites men to sign a contract with the Russian defence ministry for a salary starting at 204,000 roubles (£2,000 / $2,495) a month, and

After its mobilisation drive in September which prompted tens of thousands to flee the country to avoid being conscripted, the authorities are playing down the likelihood of a second mobilisation.

Despite the recent introduction of an electronic call up system and other measures, to clamp down on draft dodgers, Russian authorities are seeking to recruit volunteers instead.

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Posters declaring that “Our profession is to defend the Motherland.” have sprung up in the Russian capital in recent weeks as part of the drive to enlist professional soldiers

Reuters reports the posters, which say the army is looking for gunners, sappers, military medics, drivers and tank commanders, promise potential recruits “respect, an honourable profession and decent pay.”

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Recruitment poster in Moscow supermarket

Photo: Jonny Tickle - Twitter

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