Russia is trying to recruit more soldiers for its full-scale war against Ukraine but is unlikely to achieve success, the U.S. Pentagon stated on Aug. 29.
In addition, Russian recruiters often look to recruit from prisons, which, according to a senior defense official, often results in recruits that are older, in poor shape, and under-trained.
The Pentagon believes that this attempt to attract a significant number of troops is unlikely to be successful since "Russia has historically not reached its target numbers."
On Aug 18, The Insider reported that the owner of the Russian mercenary company “Wagner”, Yevgeny Prigozhin, personally participates in recruiting prisoners in Russia. According to an inmate of a penal colony in the Bryansk region, recruiters promise 230,000 rubles (almost USD 3,800) a month for fighting against Ukraine. The prisoners are also warned that 80% of them won’t come back from the war.
On Aug. 25, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin ordered Russia’s military leadership to increase the staffing of the Russian army by 137,000 people. Thus, the total number of combat personnel in the Russian military, according to this plan, would amount to 1,150,628 people.
The Ukrainian government believes that at least 47,000 Russian troops have been killed in Ukraine so far. Standard estimations for military losses assume a total casualty rate of three times the number killed, resulting in a total loss of approximately 140,000 soldiers for the Russian military.