Frantic Putin turns to teen conscripts as cannon fodder

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The news comes as Russia is desperate to replace almost 49,000 troops already killed since the start of the conflict just over six months ago. Reports have emerged claiming the Kremlin is using prisoners and private mercenary soldiers from the Wagner Group, yet the next step appears more desperate as the conflict rages on and Ukraine pushes back.

The latest shocking image being shared online, shows around one dozen young boys who appear to be in a line at a mobilisation unit in Russia.**

Adding context to the image, defence industry analyst and warfare expert Nicholas Drummond wrote a heart-breaking analogy of the photo.

He said: “These could be teenagers from any country in Europe, looking forward to starting university or getting a job.

“Instead, they are being forced to become cannon fodder serving one man’s pointless obsession.

“What a waste.”

Ukrainian News 24 also share the picture with a quote saying: “Mobilisation in Russian Federation.”

Desperate Putin has also turned to older soldiers to fill the gaps.

Previously the army had set age limits of 18-40 years for Russians and 18-30 for foreigners.

It is being presented by the Kremlin as a move to recruit more technical specialists to “operate high-precision weapons” and “experience shows that they become such by the age of 40-45”.

More medics, engineers and communications experts may also be recruited.

Putin has also offered various incentives for volunteers to join the military.

In July, a report by Radio Free Europe covered the notion of adverts appearing in towns across Russia looking for new recruits.

The flyer appeared earlier this month, pasted to the walls of apartment building entryways in the Moscow suburb of Odintsovo.

The paper read: “Wanted: men between 20 and 55 years old to serve as volunteer contract soldiers; starting salary 200,000 rubles ($3,400) a month.

“Contact the Odintsovo military recruitment centre.”

Other reports suggested a free funeral plan was also included in the terms and conditions of new volunteer recruits.

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Social media, in particular, Telegram has also been used by the Russian state to tempt young men into the army.

Elaborate “cinema-like” productions have appeared asking for recruits to “prove you are real man.”

Videos posted on the popular forum say: “Become a winner. Prove you’re a real man.

“Do you want to inscribe your name in the history of military glory, but don’t want to fight bureaucracy and controls?

“Then there’s good news for you: The orchestra needs musicians in Ukraine.
“”Join us to liberate the entire Donbas!

“Embark on your first combat campaign with living industry legends!”

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Aside from the losses of personnel, Russia has also seen huge numbers of military hardware rendered useless.

More than 2,000 Russian tanks are now out of service, many of which are being used by Ukrainian citizens as photo opportunities, demonstrating the humiliating defeats in the war.

Ukraine has also started plans to recapture major areas in Eastern Ukraine, including the city of Kherson which was captured early in the stages of the conflict six months ago.

Further concentration of focus is also continuing in and around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in which IAEA inspectors have now arrived and claim will maintain a presence at the site to monitor the stability of the reactor cores as damage and shelling have been reported.

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