Propaganda videos circulating on Russian social media appeal for more army recruits to fight in Ukraine
Propaganda videos have started circulating on Russian social media in recent days encouraging Russians to join the armed forces and fight in Ukraine, despite the Kremlin denying they need more recruits.
In an attempt to attract more volunteers to the front, the videos posted on social networks in the past few days try to appeal to Russian men through the narratives of patriotism, morality and upward social mobility.
It is unclear whether the videos are state-sponsored.
One of the videos, posted on the Kremlin-controlled social media platform VKontakte on December 14, shows a young man who chooses to fight instead of partying with his male friends and then surprises everyone by buying him a car buy with the money he made. fight on a military contract.
In another video, posted on VKontakte on December 15, the former girlfriend of a soldier is newly impressed with his courage and begs him to come back with her. A further example shows how a middle-aged man leaves the factory job that doesn’t pay him enough to sign a military contract and go to the front.
Another of the videos, also posted on VKontakte, shows a group of 30-something, wealthy Russian men loading a car while elderly women ask them where they are going. One of the men replied: “To Georgia. Always.” When one woman spills a bag of groceries, the men just get in the car and leave, instead of helping, while younger Russian men rush to pick up the groceries. “The boys left, the men stayed,” concludes one of the elderly women.
The videos were posted to a group on VKontakte called “I am mobilized.” Many videos portray the war as an escape for men from the bleak reality of their daily lives of vodka drinking, poverty and helplessness. Meanwhile, reports and complaints of supply and equipment shortages in the Russian military continue to emerge.
CNN reached out to the Russian Ministry of Defense for comment, but did not receive an immediate response.
During a meeting with mothers of those mobilized in November, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that it is better to be killed fighting for the motherland than to drink yourself to death on vodka.
In late September, Putin announced a “partial” military mobilization that mobilized more than 300,000 people across Russia as the war in Ukraine failed to progress. The exact number of Russian soldiers killed and injured during fighting in Ukraine has not been disclosed.
Thousands of men have fled Russia to avoid conscription, and fears of a second mobilization in the New Year are growing.
Earlier this month, when he addressed a news conference after a summit of Eurasian countries in Kyrgyzstan, Putin sought to reassure the public that there were no plans for additional mobilization.
Asked by a reporter what factors could require a new round of mobilization, Putin said: “There are no such factors today, we are not discussing them. I told you, 300,000 were called up as part of the mobilization. Let I repeat 150,000 (have been deployed to Ukraine). A little more than half of them are in combat units.”
Asked about reports of continued shortages of military equipment on the front lines, Putin said he was working closely with the Russian Defense Ministry and that the issue was being resolved.