Russia is enlisting homeless and troubled Ukrainians in occupied cities to fight against their own nation.
The chilling new tactic was reported by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (UAF) in an intelligence report.
Security officials claim Ukrainian citizens in the city of Mariupol, which is under occupation by Russian forces, are being enlisted by the Russian army to fight against their own nation.
The report highlighted that the recruitment efforts are targeted at alcoholics and drug addicts in the area, but did not provide specific figures on how many civilians in Mariupol have been mobilised.
“In Mariupol, temporarily occupied by the enemy, Russian invaders are taking measures to ‘mobilise’ certain members of society.
“From now on, homeless people, as well as alcohol or drug addicts are being taken to the enemy’s army,” the February 16 report read.
A separate report published this week stated that Russia is also recruiting top scientists working at the Polyus Scientific Research Institute in Moscow to join the army. The institute is known for developing laser technology for both military and civilian purposes.
“Agitation work on mobilisation of scientists has begun in Moscow. In particular, with the staff of the research institute ‘Polyus’, which is Russia’s leading scientific centre in the field of laser technologies, explanatory work was carried out about social guarantees and benefits of mobilised persons.”
The Russian mobilisation campaign comes amid the deployment of tens of thousands of new Russian conscripts into Ukrainian territory.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has described the effort as the beginning of an anticipated counter-offensive.
Earlier in February, analysts warned Russia was preparing for a massive move on major Ukraine chokepoints to mark one year of war.
However, a retired Army major and chairman of urban warfare studies at the Madison Policy Forum cautioned that Russia has yet to launch a full-scale offensive.
“I don‘t think this is the big thing that we’re all waiting for,” John Spender said via The Hill.
“Although some units are advancing along the line or pushing forward, they haven’t shown the capability to conduct co-ordinated large-scale operations.”
He suggested that the current operation in eastern Ukraine is likely in its initial stages and likened it to the period when Russian troops were positioned near the Ukrainian border in January of the previous year.
Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, resulting in the loss of more than 140,000 military personnel, according to estimates from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence.
Meanwhile, the United States and its allies plan a major array of new sanctions against Russia for the February 24 anniversary of its invasion of Ukraine.
“You will see around the 24th a big new package of sanctions from both the US and all of our G7 partners,” Victoria Nuland, the under secretary of state for political affairs, told reporters.
“These sanctions will deepen and broaden in certain categories where we have been active before, particularly in limiting the flow of technology to the Russian defence industry,” she said.
Nuland said the package will also target individuals, expand banking restrictions and crack down on evasion of existing sanctions, including in third countries.
“We are seeing the Russians get quite clever — everything from importing laptops and refrigerators through third countries, including sometimes our own countries, which they then strip-mine for chips and other things that go into their war machine,” she said.
Story Credit: news.com.au