The defense minister’s statement comes as Ukraine ramps up its conscription effort
The Russian Army is recruiting enough new personnel to complete the formation of its reserve force, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Thursday. Enough applicants are signing formal contracts with the ministry to form a new regiment every day, he added.
A total of 114,000 people have joined the Russian Armed Forces as contract servicemen to date, Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin at a Russian National Security Council session. An additional 52,000 people have joined the military ranks as volunteers, he said.
“On average, 1,336 people enter service under a contract with the Russian Armed Forces per 24 hours,” Shoigu said, adding that “we de facto get a [new] regiment every day.” Russia is now actively forming a reserve force that will include a new corps, a field army and five new regiments for the existing field armies, the defense minister said.
A field army in Russia includes several army corps and accounts for more than 40,000 servicemen on average. A Russian army corps has an established strength of between 20,000 and 40,000 servicemen and includes several brigades and regiments depending on its composition.
“We are about to finish the formation of a reserve army by late June,” the minister said, adding that almost 3,800 military equipment pieces have already been supplied to the troops and will be used to outfit the newly formed units.
According to Shoigu, the volunteers are “eager to join the fight” on the frontlines, where the Russian troops are currently repelling a Ukrainian offensive, which was launched earlier in June. The minister said that Moscow has no plans to send them into the fray right now. “There is no urgent need for that,” he said, adding that the fresh recruits should “undergo serious training first and that is what they do.” He still praised the “highest motivation” of the Russian troops.
In mid-June, Putin told military correspondents and bloggers that Russia sees no need for another military draft campaign right now. At that time, he also said that over 150,000 people had signed a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry since January.
Shoigu’s report comes as Ukrainian officials in some regions take drastic steps to ensure the inflow of recruits to the Ukrainian army. Kiev declared general mobilization back in February 2022, when Russia launched its military campaign in Ukraine.
This week, several Ukrainian media outlets reported that authorities in western Ivano-Frankovsk Region barred local healthcare providers from carrying out planned hospital treatments of any patients eligible for conscription without prior coordination with the local enlistment office.
Putin has also stated that Kiev should not be able to replenish its manpower indefinitely even with the West’s military aid. “It seems Ukraine’s Western allies are indeed prepared to wage the war to the last Ukrainian,” according to the president.
June 23, 2023 at 12:56AM