UK military intelligence: Russia seeking to bolster armed forces in response to losses

Russia is looking to bolster its armed forces amid mounting losses by enlisting personnel who have been discharged from military service since 2012, according to military intelligence from the United Kingdom.

“In response to mounting losses, the Russian armed forces seek to bolster troop numbers with personnel discharged from military service since 2012,” the U.K. Defense Ministry wrote in an intelligence update posted to Twitter on Sunday.

The ministry also said Russia is looking to recruit individuals from the Transnistria region of Moldova, which remains unrecognized and sits on the border of Ukraine.

Russia has around 1,500 troops in that area, according to The Associated Press.

“Efforts to generate more fighting power also include trying to recruit from the unrecognised Transnistria region of Moldova,” the intelligence update reads.

The U.K.’s intelligence update comes as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is progressing through its sixth week. Moscow has taken control of a number of Ukrainian cities, but its efforts have stalled in other areas because of staunch Ukrainian opposition.

Late last month, the British Defense Ministry said Russian units were undergoing “heavy losses,” and were being forced to travel back to Belarus and Russia to “reorganise and resupply.”

And in an interview published on Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Sky News that Russia had seen “significant losses of troops,” calling the situation “a huge tragedy.”

The U.S. and its international allies have imposed a number of retaliatory measures against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. On Friday, President Biden signed a bill that ended normal trade relations with Russia. He also signed legislation that codified the U.S.’s ban on Russian oil imports.

Last week, the European Commission announced that it would enact a ban on Russian coal imports as one component of its latest package of sanctions against Moscow.

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