Russia is desperate for troops and promises big cash bonuses to volunteers, according to intelligence

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This article by Katie Anthony was originally published by Business Insider.

Russia appears to offer cash bonuses to troops to deploy to Ukraine in a new combat unit as “enthusiasm” for volunteering drops, UK intelligence suggested on Wednesday. 

A U.K. intel update alleged Russia is promising recruits “lucrative cash bonuses” once they arrive in Ukraine.

The incentives are believed to be part of Russia’s attempt to build up a ground-forces unit called the 3rd Army Corps, which they’re hoping to fill with “volunteer battalions,” according to the update. 

The update claimed there are “very limited levels of popular enthusiasm for volunteering for combat in Ukraine,” making it difficult for Russia to build up the 3rd Army Corps to Russia’s typical army corps size: about 15,000 to 20,000 troops. 

In May, Russia was offering signing bonuses up to four times a monthly salary to try to attract soldiers, the Moscow Times reported

Then, some people who signed up for a three-month military service contract were being offered 170,000 rubles, or $3,000, a month — about four times the average salary in the region, the Times reported. Another recruiter was reported to offer a monthly salary of 300,000 rubles, or $5,200.

Recruitment to deploy to Ukraine is open to men under the age of 50 with only middle school education, according to the U.K. intelligence update. 

Russia’s unprovoked invasion in late February quickly ground to a standstill as Russian forces were plagued with logistical issues and ran into fierce opposition from Ukrainian defenders.

After failing to take Kyiv, the Kremlin shifted its focus to Ukraine’s east, where they’ve had some success in securing major Ukrainian cities like Mariupol, but have largely failed to push farther west.

Feature Image: Russian troops guard an entrance of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Station on the Dnieper River in Kherson region, southern Ukraine, on May 20, 2022. (Business Insider via AP)

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