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British ministry: Russia aims to recruit 400,000 contract soldiers in 2024

Russia aimed at sustaining its forces in Ukraine, which have suffered significant losses, and plans to increase the size of its armed forces to 1.32 million this year and 1.5 million subsequently, according to the British Defense Ministry.
Ukrainian tank
A Ukrainian tank on the frontline. Credit: Ukraine’s General Staff
British ministry: Russia aims to recruit 400,000 contract soldiers in 2024

The British Defense Ministry reported on 10 April Russia seeks to recruit around 400,000 contract service personnel in 2024.

Russia aimed at sustaining its forces in Ukraine, which have suffered significant losses, and supporting Russia’s announced plans to increase the size of its armed forces to 1.32 million this year and 1.5 million subsequently, according to the British Defense Ministry.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced during a press conference with Finnish President Alexander Stubb in Kyiv in early April that Russia plans to mobilize an additional 300,000 soldiers in June.

Zelenskyy said in December 2023 that Ukraine intends to mobilize up to 500,000 people. Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi stated that the General Staff had significantly revised down the mobilization target of 500,000 Ukrainians following an audit of military units.

The British Defense Ministry also reported that Russia continues its biannual conscription of soldiers, with the spring draft that commenced on 1 April expected to see around 150,000 men aged 18-30 conscripted for a 12-month service.

The ministry notes, “These conscripts will serve for 12 months in all branches of Russia’s military forces but are currently not employed in combat roles in Ukraine.”

The report emphasizes that Russian forces engaged in combat operations in Ukraine are staffed by contract service soldiers and reservists mobilized in late 2022.

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