Russia in 'Quiet Mobilization' as 22K Vacancies Show Army Losses: Ukraine

Russia is carrying out a "quiet mobilization" through its regional employment centers, according to a report from Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council.

According to the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation under the country's National Security and Defense Council, Russian authorities are continuing to recruit contract workers en masse without announcing war mobilization.

Russian President Vladimir Putin launched what he called a "special military operation" against Ukraine on February 24, but the leader has not announced mobilization. Declaring all-out war on Ukraine would allow Putin under Russian law to draft conscripts and mobilize reserve forces.

In a post on the Telegram messaging app, the center said it found job vacancies for more than 20,000 Russian contract workers.

"More than 22,200 vacancies for contract servicemen have appeared in regional employment centers of the Russian Federation," it said.

At least seven units that fought in Ukraine posted vacancies for the recruitment of snipers, gunners, drivers, sanitary instructors and other specialists, the report added.

Russian soldier stands guard in Luhansk
In this picture taken on April 13, 2022, a Russian soldier stands guard at the Luhansk power plant in the town of Shchastya. Russia is carrying out a “quiet mobilization” through its employment centers, according to a report from Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council. ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images

Some of these units are the 64th Motor Rifle Brigade from the Khabarovsk region (military unit number 51460) and the 104th Guards Air Assault Regiment (military unit number 32515), which Ukraine alleges were involved in the killings and torture of civilians in the city of Bucha, near Kyiv, in April, the report states.

The center also found that the 37th Motor Rifle Brigade (military unit number 69647) from Buryatia, which reportedly has the second-highest number of casualties, is looking to recruit the highest number of Russian contact servicemen.

The Center for Countering Disinformation suggested that these thousands of vacancies indicate the losses of the Russian army, and "the general problem with the recruitment of military personnel."

Previously, a search by Newsweek on a local recruiting website in May found more than a dozen job adverts hiring recruits in mobilization training and work in wartime.

Multiple job adverts throughout Russia referencing "mobilization training" were posted on the HeadHunter website, with one advert for the Department of Internal Affairs in the north-western district of Moscow, stating that applicants would be required to carry out a range of tasks, including developing and adjusting "mobilization planning documents," and implementing "special decisions of federal executive bodies in terms of mobilization readiness and mobilization training."

Another job posting for a "security department employee" for a Moscow federal tax service said that the applicant will be responsible for "mobilization preparation" related to wartime activities and in martial law and a state of emergency.

The Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation cited British intelligence as suggesting that a lack of resources forced Russian troops to take a break shortly after Moscow claimed a major victory in seizing the Luhansk region in Ukraine's east.

Putin, during a meeting with Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu on July 4, said all units involved in the offensive in Luhansk should rest to "build up strength" and "increase their combat capabilities."

Ukraine's armed forces say about 37,300 Russian troops have been killed since the war began, although Russia has not confirmed those figures. On March 25, a Russian general told state media that 1,351 soldiers had been killed and 3,825 were wounded.

Newsweek has contacted Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment.