Russia has started recruiting volunteers from a mental health clinic in St. Petersburg, it has been reported.
An advertisement on the website for St. Petersburg’s Psychoneurological Dispensary No. 2 offers tempting cash incentives for patients willing to join the "Kronstadt", "Neva" and “Pavlovsk”battalions.
Volunteers who sign up for a six month tour of duty are promised preferential university entrance as well as hefty cash payments as Putin’s invasion force comes under increasing pressure in Ukraine.
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Most chillingly, the site also offers tips on how to pass a psychiatric examination for a permit to carry a weapon.
Russia’s recruitment problems stem from Putin’s refusal to call the attack on Ukraine a war.
As long as the campaign is classified as a "special military operation,” the Russian military can’t implement full conscription of all of its manpower resources and is obliged to rely on volunteers on short-term contacts.
But Ukrainian sources accused Putin of carrying out a “quiet mobilisation” through the country's regional job centres.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine also claimed that Russia was to recruiting sick and injured soldiers from hospital to replace its losses.
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A post on the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ Facebook page said: ”In Donestsk, the Russian invaders found a 'new source' of replenishment of losses in manpower.
"So, recently, representatives of the Russian occupation army began to arrive at local hospitals in the city and forcefully 'discharge' patients.
"Men of military age with various diseases or injuries, including those wounded during hostilities who are undergoing treatment, fall under such an extract."
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The authorities in St. Petersburg have also reportedly attempted to recruit the city's homeless.
Russian homelessness charity Nochlezhka said that officials from the Frunzensky district administration in Russia's second city had visited a shelter on August 17.
A Nochlezhka spokes[person told Newsweek that recruiters tried to talk to people staying at the shelter and leave leaflets containing information about military contracts.
But one US expert says that the recruitment drive is just “serving up more Russians to be slaughtered".
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Dr John Callahan, an expert in strategic analysis from New England College, told the Express: “It is not World War Two. You can’t really take a guy off the street and in a week or two of quick training, they're ready for high intensity warfare.
“Especially when they have to attack and manoeuvre and really be flexible.
“It is a little bit different if you're on the defensive, where your training consists of: Here is how you dig a ditch, here is a gun and this is which way you point it.
“That is different. But that type of training will not win Russia anything. That will just serve up more Russians to be slaughtered by the Ukrainians.”
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Verifiable figures for Russia’s losses are hard to come by.
Ukraine recently claimed that over 50,000 Russian troops had been killed since the war began. Ukrainian officials also recently announced that 236 Russian aircraft, 207 helicopters, 15 sea vessels, 3,305 land vehicles and fuel tankers, 209 cruise missiles, and numerous of other miscellaneous military systems had been destroyed by its armed forces.
Russia disputes Ukraine’s figures, but has offered little in the way of information itself. Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov admitted in April that there had been "significant losses,” telling Sky News that Russian casualties were a "huge tragedy for us" but refusing to name an exact figure.
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