Russia is offering residents 5kg of fish in exchange for men joining the Ukraine war

According to a report, a Russian official on the far eastern island of Sakhalin is offering residents fresh fish if they allow their men to join the war in Ukraine.

Mikhail Shuvalov, the local leader of President Vladimir Putin’s ruling party, promised residents of Sakhalin island at least 5 kilograms of flounder, pollack and salmon in exchange for sending their men to war, The Times reported. According to the Ukrainian authorities, 60,800 Russian soldiers have been killed in the war so far.

Shuvalov’s initiative is similar to a program in the Republic of Tuva, where families received a sheep, coal, 50 kg of flour and two sacks of potatoes for each member they sent to the front.

“We’ll take your husband and you’ll get food for a couple of weeks. It’s a true indication of the poverty that officials want everyone to forget,” Russian political scientist Anton Barbashin said in an interview with The Times, referring to the new recruiting scheme.

Russia’s new recruiting tactic comes two weeks after Putin announced a partial mobilization of reservists for the war in Ukraine. At the time, the Kremlin said it was only considering calling up 300,000 reservists with combat experience. However, a secret clause in Putin’s mobilization decree allowed the Russian Defense Ministry to draft a million reservists, EU newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported, citing a source in the presidential administration.

Russia-focused news site Meduza also reported that the clause allows for the conscription and deployment of 1.2 million people, citing an unnamed official who is “close to one of the country’s federal ministries.”

Russia has already recruited over 200,000 people into its army. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti that the recruits would be trained at 80 training grounds and in six training centers.

It’s unclear when Russia expects to meet its goal of conscripting 300,000 conscripts to bolster its forces in Ukraine. However, Yahoo News reported that Russia has delayed its recruitment of 120,000 conscripts by at least a month as the country struggles to equip and train its soldiers before deployment.

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