A Blog by Jonathan Low

 

Jun 22, 2022

Why Volunteers Over 40 Now Doing Most Russian Fighting In Ukraine

Most of the Russian soldiers now fighting in Ukraine are contract volunteers over the age of 40. Some are veterans of Russia's wars in Chechnya, Georgia and Syria. 

They are hired by the mercenary Wagner Group or into Rosgvardia units (similar to the US National Guard or British Territorial commands). In addition to pay well above standards for many rural or smaller hinterland cities, the Russian Ministry of Defense has promised to help them pay off debts. The reason for this demographic shift is that younger Russians - and their parents - now believe service in Ukraine is a death sentence and are using whatever means possible to avoid conscription. JL 

Rob Lee reports via Michael Kofman, War On the Rocks :

Wagner as well as volunteer MoD and Rosgvardia units are now Russia's primary assault forces in Ukraine. There was no training in tactics and many volunteers are over 45. 155 Russian volunteers have been killed in Ukraine. Of these, 57% were 40 years old or older and 25% are over 50. The MoD is offering a 3 month contracts and to help pay off loans or debt. Volunteers in Nizhnekamsk are being offered 200k rubles a month, 5 times the average monthly salary for the city. The Spring recruitment campaign is failing in Siberia and in the regions close to Ukraine: in the Voronezh region, bordering Ukraine, only 3.5% of conscripts enrolled, 26% in Siberia and Far East regions. According to the BBC's sources, Wagner as well as volunteer MoD and Rosgvardia units are now Russia's primary assault forces in Ukraine. Volunteer units are taking part in fighting in some of the most kinetic areas in Ukraine and volunteers generally receive 3-7 days of training. One of the volunteers interviewed said there was no training in tactics and that many volunteers are over 45.

 

Volunteers who join Rosgvardia in Chechnya were provided better training at the Spetsnaz University in Gudermes and signed 3-month contracts. The Rosgvardia volunteer fought in Rubizhne and around Severodonetsk and said Ukrainian mortar and MLRS fire was effective.

 

They identified at least 155 Russian volunteers who have been killed in Ukraine. Of these 155, 57% of them were 40 years old or older and 25% are over 50 years old or older.

 

One of the main points is that the MoD is offering a sizeable paycheck for 3 months contracts and, apparently, are offering to help pay off loans or debt. Volunteers in Nizhnekamsk are being offered 200k rubles a month, which is 5 times the average monthly salary for the city.

 

The majority of young males and their parents do not believe Putin that they won't be sent to 🇺🇦 and used as "cannon fodder" in Ukraine. Spring recruitment campaign 2022 in 🇷🇺 is failing in Siberia and in the regions close to Ukraine. So far, 10K or 20% of conscripts were enrolled in the Central Federal region! It's unlikely they will have the rest 80% in the next 30 days. 2. Ingushetia (Caucasus) has troubles with enrollment, many young males hide. Only 25% of the conscription plan is completed in Priamurye (Far East region). 4. Novosibirsk region: only 26% of conscripts are sent to Armed forces by June 9 (deadline is July 15). 5. Voronezh region, bordering Ukraine: only 3.5% of conscripts enrolled.

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