Defense Ministry reveals how many Russians volunteered for army

Over 13,500 servicemen signed up for contract service in just 10 days

The Defense Ministry has praised the growing “consolidation” of Russian society, reporting a massive increase in the number of people willing to serve the country by joining both the army ranks and volunteer units.

“In just ten days of the current month, 13,644 people have signed up for contract service,” Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov said during a special briefing on Saturday. “This is 2.1 times more than in the same period of May this year, and 3.1 times higher than in April.”

Last month, ex-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who currently serves as the deputy chairman of Russia’s National Security Council, said that some 117,400 people have volunteered to join the army ranks since January.

Russian officials have repeatedly insisted that with a growing number of volunteers there is no need for another partial mobilization. The call-up conducted in Russia last autumn was described as the largest of its kind since 1945, with more than 300,000 people drafted to create some 280 new military units.

Pankov also noted a steady stream of those willing to join volunteer units, saying it “indicates the high consolidation of Russian society, the desire of citizens to make a personal contribution to achieving a common victory.”

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The Defense Ministry is working to grant the volunteer corps the necessary legal status. The official noted that the servicemen will be guaranteed the same social protections and benefits for them and their families, regardless of whether they decide to join one of over 40 existing volunteer units, or sign a contract with the Defense Ministry directly.

In mid-April, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law amended conscription and mobilization rules. The changes allowed for the creation of a unified digital database of citizens subject to military service.

The Defense Ministry is now combining existing databases, including tax, election, medical, police and court records, as well as those drawn from employers and universities. It is expected that the register will help track the summonses sent out to eligible conscripts, not just by mail but also electronically. 

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