Russia says concert attack has sparked jump in army recruitment By Reuters

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia has seen a sharp jump in the number of people signing contracts to join the military since last month’s deadly attack on a concert hall near Moscow, the defense ministry said on Wednesday.

In a statement, the organization said more than 100,000 people have signed contracts with the military since the beginning of the year, including about 16,000 in just the past 10 days.

“In the polls held last week in polling stations in Russian cities, the majority of the candidates indicated that they want to avenge the victims of the tragedy that happened on March 22, 2024 in the Moscow region as the main goal of concluding the agreement,” the ministry said. he said.

At least 144 people have been killed in a shootout at a ceremony at Crocus City Hall in an attack claimed by the Islamic State terrorist group.

Russia has said, however, that the attackers were allied with Ukraine – a claim Kyiv has repeatedly denied and the United States has dismissed as baseless.

Russia is relying on large numbers of conscripts to fight in Ukraine, which is now in its third year.

President Vladimir Putin has ordered 300,000 men to be deported by September 2022 but has said there is no need for further enforcement because the numbers signing voluntary contracts are so strong.

Posters in Russian cities praise the soldiers fighting in Ukraine as patriots and heroes, and many of those who sign up are lured by higher wages than they would receive as civilians.

Russia, which seized control of Ukraine in February 2022, has been making slow progress over the past two months after last year’s failed Ukrainian coup attempt.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said last month that Moscow would strengthen its military by adding two new battalions and 30 new units by the end of this year.

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