In view of the heavy losses in its war against Ukraine, Russia's defense ministry is now advertising fighters for the battles in the neighboring country with a lavishly produced video. The action-movie-style clip features a supermarket security guard, a gym trainer and a taxi driver who transform into uniformed soldiers. The video directly questions whether the men are serving their country in the right place.
"You are a man! Become one now!" can be read in Russian in the 46-second clip. "Serve with a contract!" is the request. The volunteers are promised a monthly salary starting at 204,000 rubles (around 2,280 euros), a proper education and social benefits.
The men can report directly on a hotline with the number 117 or on a website. There are registration points for the volunteers all over the country. The promises are at odds with many other clips in which soldiers consistently complain about poor equipment, leadership and treatment.
Most recently, the Russian private army had written to Wagner recruiting volunteers for deployment in the war zone for a monthly salary of 240,000 rubles. Success bonuses are also promised, said Wagner. Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin has also set up recruitment offices across the country.