Russia hires ‘war mobilization specialists’ after denying it would declare war

Russian authorities have disputed reports that they will soon officially declare war on Ukraine, even though government institutions across the country are recruiting staff for “wartime mobilization specialists”.

A search by Newsweek on a local recruiting website, I found more than a dozen job postings hiring recruits for mobilization training and wartime work.

The development was first reported by The Times of Moscow, an independent online newspaper based in Moscow.

It comes amid growing speculation that Russian President Vladimir Putin will announce a mass mobilization on May 9, Russia’s Victory Day, a move that could see hundreds of thousands drafted into the military.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a weekly meeting with government ministers at the Novo Ogaryovo state residence October 29, 2014 in Moscow, Russia. Fears are growing that Putin will announce a mass mobilization on May 9, Russia’s Victory Day.
Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images

The invasion has lasted nearly 80 days, with Russian forces still unable to achieve most of their strategic objectives.

The invaders suffered severe casualties – the Ukrainians claim nearly 25,000 enemy dead, with US estimates being slightly lower. Russia is also currently stepping up its offensive in Mariupol as part of efforts to take the port city and steel plant of Azovstal.

Several job postings referencing “mobilization training” have appeared on the HeadHunter website in recent weeks.

An announcement for the Department of Internal Affairs of the North-Western District of Moscow, published on April 29, indicates that candidates would be required to carry out a series of tasks, including the development and adjustment of “planning documents of mobilization” and the implementation of “special documents decisions of federal executive bodies on preparation for mobilization and mobilization training.

Another job posting for a “Security Service Employee” of a Federal Tax Service in Moscow indicates that the candidate will be responsible for “preparation for mobilization” related to war activities and martial law and the ’emergency state.

A civil defense specialist from the Russian Post would be required to organize mobilization training and civil defense activities in separate subdivisions of the Federal Border Service in Moscow.

Meanwhile, another post in the Russian capital is recruiting a “mobilization work specialist”. The specification requires the candidate to “organize mobilization training with public authorities, military commissariats and higher organizations, and to take steps to transfer production to” work under wartime conditions during the reception of warning signals”.

Russia’s Federal Natural Resources Monitoring Service is recruiting a “specialist in working with state secrets” who would be responsible for booking “mobilization training” for all office workers. This announcement was published on April 21.

Moscow’s Rostekhnadzor – the state body that licenses nuclear installations, issues equipment permits and regulates the safety of nuclear energy use – is also looking for an employee who will be able to provide training to mobilization, civil defense and emergency situations.

It comes amid growing fears that Putin will officially declare war on Ukraine on Victory Day – an annual Russian commemoration of the end of World War II on May 9 – according to officials’ analysis British defence, who said earlier this month that he “probably wanted to demonstrate significant military success before the holidays.

Declaring total war on Ukraine would allow Putin, under Russian law, to recruit conscripts and mobilize reserve forces. Russia has never declared full mobilization before.

The Kremlin pushed back against the speculation on Wednesday, saying there was “no chance of that happening. It’s nonsense,” according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

“That’s not true,” he added.

Newsweek contacted the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment.

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