Russian Military Recruitment Surges After Moscow Tragedy

Russia has witnessed a notable surge in individuals enlisting in the armed forces since a fatal assault on a concert venue near Moscow last month, announced the defense ministry on Wednesday.

According to their statement, over 100,000 individuals have entered military service since the year’s commencement, with approximately 16,000 joining in the past ten days alone.

“During interviews conducted over the past week at selection points in Russian cities, most candidates indicated the desire to avenge those killed in the tragedy that occurred on March 22, 2024, in the Moscow region as the main motive for concluding a contract,” the ministry stated.

Tragic Moscow event fuels over 100,000 enlistments in Russian military (Credits: TASS)

The assault at the Crocus City Hall concert venue resulted in at least 144 casualties due to a mass shooting and fire, an incident claimed by the Islamic State militant group.

Despite Russia’s claims linking the attackers to Ukraine, which Kyiv vehemently denies and the United States dismisses as baseless, the country continues to draw on a steady influx of new recruits to sustain its military operations in Ukraine, now entering its third year.

President Vladimir Putin, who mandated a draft of 300,000 men in September 2022, has asserted that another compulsory mobilization is unnecessary due to the robust number of voluntary enlistments.

Patriotic fervor propels surge in voluntary contracts with armed forces (Credits: RFE/RL)
Patriotic fervor propels surge in voluntary contracts with armed forces (Credits: RFE/RL)

Posters across Russian cities lionize soldiers engaged in Ukraine as patriots and heroes, with many recruits enticed by salaries significantly higher than civilian wages.

Russia, which initiated its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, has steadily advanced in recent months following a Ukrainian counteroffensive that failed to achieve substantial gains last year.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu declared last month that Moscow plans to strengthen its military by introducing two new armies and 30 additional formations by year’s end.