The Kremlin has instructed Russian regional authorities to focus military recruitment on “marginalized and vulnerable groups.” This is what the journalistic platform ‘IStories’ writes. This would include migrants, the unemployed, criminals and debtors. “It seems as if Moscow wants to get rid of the bottom layer of society.”
‘IStories’ relies on a letter from the office of the Russian presidential envoy to the Russian Central Federal District. The document, which has not been independently verified, reportedly states that regional administrations must adhere to certain rules when recruiting Russian citizens since March 1, 2023.
One specific order states that boards should focus as much as possible on “marginalized groups.” What exactly this entails is explained in an appendix to the letter. In it, the agency lists twenty specific categories. Migrants, criminals, debtors and the unemployed, among others, are currently being prioritized, it appears.
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Lack of volunteers
“It seems as if Russia wants to get rid of the bottom layer of society,” responds a military recruiter at ‘IStories’. “They don’t care about the quality of the military. And even less about what happens to the families of the recruits when they are sent to the front,” the anonymous witness continues.
According to Sergei Krivenko, the head of the NGO ‘Citizen, Army & the Law’, the document mainly shows that the Russian army is hardly succeeding in motivating citizens to join the army on a voluntary basis. “If everything went so smoothly and Russians voluntarily signed contracts, the Kremlin would not need all those tricks and efforts of the regional authorities,” Krivenko emphasizes.
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