The Russian army has suffered massive casualties during its military campaign. Ukrainian estimates suggest that Putin’s forces have lost over 20,000 soldiers since hostilities started in February. The Kremlin has been on a desperate drive to replenish the ranks of its frontline troops, as it initiates further attacks in Ukraine’s Donbas region.
Moscow launched its spring draft earlier in April and is planning to recruit 134,500 men by July.
However, yet another arson attack on a military enlistment office would appear to indicate that young Russians are not too keen to join the war effort.
The latest incident occurred in the Mordovia region last week, according to the 7×7 news website.
The enlistment office was pelted with Molotov cocktails, which set the building on fire and destroyed computers and a database of conscripts in the Zubova Polyana settlement.
The arson attack has temporarily led to a halt in the draft process in the region.
A source said: “The recruitment campaign in the local districts was put on pause.”
This is not the first time enlistment offices have been targeted by anti-war protesters in Russia.
Four days after Russian troops invaded Ukraine, a 21-year-old set fire to a recruitment office in the town of Lukhovitsy in the Moscow region.
The protester also painted the gate outside the building in the colours of the Ukrainian flag.
The man doused the front of the military enlistment office with petrol, smashed windows and then chucked Molotov cocktails.
The arsonist said on one of the Telegram channels he had wanted to prevent mobilisation.
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Other arson attacks on enlistment centres then followed throughout March in the Voronezh, Sverdlovsk and Ivanovo regions.
Putin has turned to increasingly desperate measures to try and bolster his troop numbers.
Ukraine’s military intelligence (GUR) alleged that Moscow is planning to recruit Chechen convicts from the Chernokozovo penal colony.
Around 100 prisoners are to be offered a full amnesty in exchange for their agreement to sign up and fight for the Russian army in Ukraine.
Many of the criminals have convictions for serious crimes, which include murder, drug trafficking and robbery, the GUR said.