·      The Russian MoD has launched a major new drive for volunteer recruits. A pervasive campaign has seen advertising appear on Russian social media sites, on billboards, and on TV.

·      The new adverts appeal to potential recruits’ masculine pride, appealing for ‘real men’, as well as highlighting the financial benefits of joining up.

·      Since its access to prisoner recruitment was stopped, the Wagner Group private military company is also competing for the limited pool of Russian fighting-age men. It remains highly unlikely that the campaign will attract the MoD’s reported target of 400,000 volunteers. The authorities are almost certainly seeking to delay any new, overt mandatory mobilisation for as long as possible to minimise domestic dissent.

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