There are indications the Kremlin is running out of troops for its war with Ukraine.
Regional authorities in Russia are pursuing a campaign to recruit volunteer fighters, but it is not getting much traction, one report says.
According to independent Russian website Media Zona, at least 25 Russian regions are now trying to form volunteer battalions.
“The local authorities are sparing no effort in advertising the battalions or reporting about them in the media, but the results of their efforts fail to impress,” Media Zona says.
Local administrations are offering lavish payments for fighting in Ukraine, but some have found only a fraction of the fighting force they are trying to assemble, the report says.
Earlier today, the UK Ministry of Defence said the volunteer battalions being raised across Russia will likely form a large part of a new army corps. However, “given very limited levels of popular enthusiasm for volunteering for combat in Ukraine”, it will probably be difficult for Russia to find the required number of troops, the British military said.
Several independent Russian media outlets said last week the private military company known as Wagner was trying to recruit fighters for Ukraine among inmates at Russian jails.