Military recruitment representatives raid market places and shopping centers in north Russian cities and town, among them the border town of Pechenga, in search of foreigners with Russian passports. Photo: Na Strazhe Zapolyariya on VK

Military recruitment officers raid market places in Pechenga for more migrant warriors

Increasingly desperate for more soldiers, the Russian Armed Forces step up efforts to enrol new countrymen in military service. Among the targets of the military recruiters are migrant workers in far northern towns.
January 15, 2024


In the last three months of 2023, representatives of the Northern Fleet’s investigative service along with local law enforcement authorities and military commissariats undertook a series of efforts to recruit migrants to military service.

In several raids, the recruitment officers searched through the homes and work places of individuals with newly obtained Russian citizenship. Typical work places for these people are shopping centres and market places, military newspaper Na Strazhe Zapolyarya reports.

“The protection of the Motherland is a constitutional duty and obligation of every citizen of the Russian Federation and this is embodied mainly through military service,” the newspaper writes and adds that “far from all former foreigners that have obtained Russian citizenship voluntarily enrol in the military.”

The recruitment efforts were conducted in a number of north Russian cities and towns, among them Murmansk, Arkhangelsk and Severodvinsk. There were also raids in Pechenga, the town located near the border to Norway and Finland.

Similar raids have been made across all of Russia, and several hundred foreigners with Russian passports have been sent to the military barracks. It is not clear how many of them that have been sent to the occupied parts of Ukraine.

In the north Russian towns, the recruiters reportedly discovered a number of people not yet enrolled in the military. Some of them were escorted directly to the military commissariats, while others were given draft calls.

According to the Armed Forces, similar efforts to hunt down draft dodgers in the Murmansk and Arkhangelsk regions will continue in 2024.


The increasingly aggressive recruitment efforts come on the backdrop of a dramatic loss of men in the war against Ukraine. According to statistics from the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Russia has lost almost 400,000 men in the full-scale onslaught on the neighboring country. 




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