Russia Offers Signing Bonuses for Soldiers Amid Ukraine War: Reports

  • Russia’s military is offering signing bonuses to attract recruits amid the war in Ukraine.
  • In one city, recruits who sign up for three-month contracts can get paid four times as much as the local salary.
  • UK’s armed forces minister said more than 20,000 Russian military personnel have died in the war.

Russia’s military doesn’t have enough soldiers, and it’s offering signing bonuses to pull in new recruits, reported the Moscow Times.

In Tula, a city about 200 kilometers south of Moscow, those who sign up for a three-month military service contract are being offered an allowance starting from 170,000 rubles ($3,000) a month — about four times the average salary in the region, the Moscow Times reported, citing a local advertisement and data from a Russian financial portal.

A recruiter for the military in Chechnya also offered a first-month salary of 300,000 rubles ($5,200), the Moscow Times reported, citing Sever.Realii, a Russian news outlet owned by Radio Free Europe.

Russia has also been setting up mobile offices across the country to step up recruitment, per the Moscow Times.

About 70% of the Russian military is made up of contract soldiers, while conscripts make up the rest of the force. Contract soldiers typically sign on for three years and are paid about $1,100 a month, according to the Washington Post.

The recruitment efforts come as Russian forces have suffered major losses in Ukraine. The UK’s armed forces minister James Heappey said Wednesday that more than 20,000 Russian military personnel have died in the war, according to the Evening Standard.

The Kremlin said on March 25 that 1,351 Russian soldiers had been killed. It has not updated the number so far.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy told CNN in April that the country has lost about 2,500 to 3,000 troops since the war started.

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