Russia may resort to coercing its citizens into volunteering for the military in an effort to enlist 400,000 new soldiers, according to a report from the U.K. Ministry of Defense.
Radio Free Europe reported earlier this month that the Russian Ministry of Defense has plans to recruit an additional 400,000 contract soldiers this year, with regional governments being given hiring quotas ahead of the recruitment drive's launch in April.
"Russia is presenting the campaign as a drive for volunteer, professional personnel, rather than a new, mandatory mobilisation," reads the U.K. Defense Intelligence update, which was released on Thursday. "There is a realistic possibility that in practice this distinction will be blurred and that regional authorities will try to meet their allocated recruitment targets by coercing men to join up."
It continues, "Russian authorities have likely selected a supposedly 'volunteer model' to meet their personnel shortfall in order to minimize domestic dissent."
The report states, "It is highly unlikely that the campaign will attract 400,000 genuine volunteers. However, rebuilding Russia's combat power in Ukraine will require more than just personnel; Russia needs more munitions and military equipment supplies than it currently has available."
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