Russia says concert attack has sparked jump in army recruitment


MOSCOW: Russia has seen a significant increase in the number of people signing contracts to join the armed forces since last month's deadly attack on a concert hall near Moscow, the Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.
In a statement, it said more than 100,000 people had signed contracts with the military since the beginning of the year, including about 16,000 in the past 10 days.
“During the interviews conducted at selection points last week Russian city“The majority of candidates indicated as the main motive for concluding the contract the desire to avenge those killed in the tragedy that occurred in the Moscow region on March 22, 2024,” the ministry said.
At least 144 people were killed in a mass shooting and fire at the Crocus City Hall concert venue in an attack by the Islamic State terrorist group.
However, Russia has said the attackers were linked to Ukraine – which Kiev has repeatedly denied and the United States has dismissed as nonsense.
Russia is counting on a steady stream of new recruits to the armed forces to wage the war in Ukraine, now in its third year.
President Vladimir Putin ordered an unpopular draft of 300,000 men in September 2022, but has said there is no need for another mandatory mobilization because the number of people signing voluntary contracts is too strong.
Posters in Russian cities glorify soldiers fighting in Ukraine as patriots and heroes, and many of those who sign up are attracted by salaries far higher than they could earn as civilians.
Russia, which invaded Ukraine in February 2022, has been gradually advancing over the past two months after a Ukrainian counteroffensive last year failed to make significant gains.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said last month that Moscow would strengthen its military by adding two new armies and 30 new formations by the end of this year.

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