With Russia "desperate to find more cannon fodder", recruitment videos for the army are becoming more bizarre, sd one clip of gun-toting young females "sexualising" the conflict in Ukraine has turned heads.
Vladimir Putin's "special military operation" is far from glamorous, with almost 115,000 soldiers killed in the most recent invasion of their close neighbour.
But military recruitment videos have continually tried to airbrush the image of the atrocities in Ukraine, and one recent recruitment drive appears to be trying to sexualise the invasion.
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Kyiv Post journalist Jason Jay Smart quoted Ukrainian news agency UNIAN as saying: “This is how a motivational video for luring Russians into military service looks.”
He added in a tweet: "Notice the focus on ethnic minorities and the sexualization of women? Russia is desperate to find more cannon fodder."
In the clip, two attractive young women stand by the side of a tank with huge guns as they pose seductively for the camera. Later, more good looking young ladies enjoy the spoils of war.
DW in Germany reported this week that Ukrainian officials and Russian experts now predict a second mobilisation wave.
And Smart's assertion that there is a non earnest focus on ethnic minorities is not implausibile.
In September last year Novara Media reported that Russia was using ethnic minorities as "cannon fodder" in Ukraine.
The news followed the “partial mobilisation” of 300,000 Russians with previous military experience.
Novara reported that "ethnic minority groups – who come from impoverished communities – are overrepresented" in the recruitment pool.
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Foreign policy reported that "some men in remote areas have resorted to hiding in the forest while others flee the country" instead of getting sent to "the meat grinder".
In Buryatia, mountainous Russian republic in eastern Siberia, where the average monthly salary is one-third of that in Moscow and St. Petersburg, the army offered local men the possibility of a stable salary before the conflict.
“The army for them before the war was a good way to earn money and take care of their mortgages,” said Natalia Arno, president of the Free Russia Foundation, who is originally from the region.
However, there is a belief now that men from this region – and others like it – are being sent to die "to avoid ruffling the feathers of wealthy city-dwellers."
“These people are less defended,” said Vasily Matenov, founder of Asians of Russia, during the September 2022 recruitment drive. “If they were to start rounding up Muscovites, then everyone would hear about it.”
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