June 5, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

Complete News World

‘You’re young, right?’ Then be one!

Today Russia celebrates the victory over Nazi Germany. And the preparation for the holiday coincided with a large recruitment campaign for the army, during which the Russian army shouts and shouts.

Gert Groet Corkamp

They are outside crowded subway stations or at the entrance to famous city parks, inconspicuous kiosks with the simple text above: “Contract Service.” At the front of the booth is a large portrait of an imposing soldier in full uniform. Our profession is to protect the motherland. The young volunteers behind it provide more information about career prospects in the military. Sometimes camouflaged Cossacks surrounded them.

The leadership of the Russian army has set itself the goal of increasing the armed forces by at least 400 thousand professional soldiers before the end of this year, or ‘Contractnik’In light of the conflict in Ukraine and the accession of Finland and soon Sweden to NATO. The campaign has been in full swing for several weeks now, both in Moscow and in other Russian regions. Large billboards along busy roads encourage Russian men to choose a “real job”. “Join us,” they shout advertising posters at bus stops. In some areas, job advertisements coincide with the gas or electric bill on the bus.

It is also inevitable on television. A commercial shows a sad-looking security guard in a supermarket, with a rhetorical text: “Have you ever dreamed of becoming a security guard like this?” The next moment we see the same man in military uniform, now with a confident expression on his face. A taxi driver appears, then a weightlifter, all gloomy. “Is this your strength?” The ad’s conclusion is a challenge: “You’re a man, right? So be one!”

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Attractive installments

At the recruiting booth outside the huge Yaroslavl station, thirty-three young men with tanned faces crowded. Perhaps they had just arrived from the province and had received from the cheerful girl behind the booth a dossier with information about the Moscow reporting center and especially about the great material benefits entailed in the contract with the army.

It is also frequently reported widely in the media, national newspapers, door-to-door newspapers, and television reports. In addition to the normal salary, Muscovites can demand a bonus from the mayor, and participants in the so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine receive double or more. Thus, the promised monthly salary can reach 340,000 rubles, which is equal to 4,000 euros, which is a colossal amount for the average Russian. To increase the enthusiasm even further, additional rewards are guaranteed for each kilometer of territory gained in the front and for the elimination of enemy weapons and equipment.

In addition, a lot of help is promised in finding housing and caring for children and elderly relatives. He spares no expense to convince the skeptics. And those who decided to go to the recruitment office in Moscow will be warmly welcome there. Famous musicians and TV personalities appear there regularly, play, talk and take pictures with recruits.

Students dressed in old Soviet uniforms rehearse the Victory Waltzes they will perform in Moscow on Victory Day Tuesday.Statue of Alexander Zemlianichenko / AP

The campaign coincides with preparations for Victory Day, Russia’s most important holiday, commemorating the victory over Hitler’s Germany. All of Moscow is now filled with flags, pictures and other references to the holiday, along avenues, on shop windows and on balconies. It is the perfect climate to further stir up patriotic sentiments and ensure that Russia, like the Soviet Union at the time, is once again fighting “fascism”.

Experience is not required

“I want to go back and completely eradicate Nazism,” the newspaper quoted her as saying. Argoementy i fact 58-year-old Alexey Kornilov from Saratov, who was already at the front as a mercenary of the Wagner Group and came to Moscow to re-enlist. My grandfather and father also fought for it. I will sign a contract for two years. ” The newspaper is talking on the same hotline with 21-year-old Alexander, who came from the Krasnodar Territory. “I want to defend Russian sovereignty and fight fascism,” Alexander said.

Experience does not play an important role. Recently, young Russians have been able to get into the army right from school. A new law makes it possible to sign a contract from the age of 18. The recruitment effort is not targeting Russian men and just a handful of women. Foreigners are also welcome. According to some reports, there is active recruitment among migrant workers, for example in and around mosques in Moscow. Most migrant workers in Russia come from the Muslim-majority former Soviet republics in Central Asia. Not only are they lured by high salaries, but they can also demand the speedy granting of Russian citizenship. To draw their attention to this, texts in Kyrgyz, Uzbek and Tajik languages ​​\u200b\u200bappeared on the screens of public transport in Moscow at the end of last year.

Russian soldiers in Moscow on the occasion of Victory Day.  ANP/EPA image

Russian soldiers in Moscow on the occasion of Victory Day.ANP/EPA image

A massive recruitment campaign replaced a new wave of mobilization. According to opinion polls, the “partial mobilization” announced by President Putin last fall has led to major unrest in Russian society and a real exodus of Russian men, something the Kremlin now probably wants to prevent. Although the Minister of Defense later stated that the stated objectives had been achieved (330,000 Russians were said to have been called up) and mobilization ended, this never happened officially, by decree of the President. So this mobilization can be resumed sooner or later.