Russia recruits 190,000 contracted soldiers in first half of 2024

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says thousands of new recruits have joined the country's military this year as contracted soldiers.

Medvedev, who now serves as the deputy chairman of Russia's security council, said on Thursday that 190,000 Russian citizens had newly signed contracts with the military as of June.

He stressed that recruitment remains stable at an average rate of about 1,000 people per day.

Russia is believed to be continuing its offensive in Ukraine in disregard of military casualties.

Britain's defense ministry estimates that the total average number of Russian personnel killed and wounded in May stood at 1,200 per day - the highest figure reported since the start of the offensive.

Russia's military is believed to be recruiting contracted soldiers by offering generous wages to prisoners and cash-strapped people from rural communities.

Media reports say Moscow is also sending immigrants who have obtained Russian citizenship to the frontlines in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin mobilized reservists in 2022. But since then, he has repeatedly denied planning to mobilize additional troops, in an effort to assuage deep-rooted public anxiety and dissatisfaction.

Observers say Russia is aiming to reinforce its military by replenishing troops with contract soldiers.