Day 394: Russia plans to recruit 400,000 new contract soldiers

Russian missile and artillery strikes target a number of regions across Ukraine. Putin seeks to sign up 400,000 more recruits. The Council of Europe’s GRECO removes Ukraine from a list of countries that make poor efforts to tackle corruption.  

Civilians injured and killed as Russia’s missiles, artillery strike Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Chernihiv, Sumy regions

On Friday, March 24, the Russian forces launched a number of missile and artillery strikes against the regions of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Chernihiv, and Sumy.   

In Kherson, two men were crossing the river in a boat when a Russian artillery strike hit a reed bed area of the river and a warehouse. One of them died from injuries sustained during the attack, and the other one was taken to hospital. In Zaporizhzhia region, Russian artillery targeted private houses in the town of Orikhiv. The houses caught fire. A local resident was injured. Chernihiv region came under fire from Russia. A mortar attack killed a resident in Horodyshche. The Russian forces launched 11 guided bomb units, a guided missile and Shahed drones against Sumy region overnight into Friday. Two people were killed and 10 more injured.

Russia seeks 400,000 more recruits as latest Ukraine offensive stalls, Bloomberg says

The Kremlin has dialed back plans for a further offensive in Ukraine this spring after failing to gain much ground and will focus on blunting a new push by Kyiv’s forces expected to begin soon.

Russia is seeking to sign up as many as 400,000 contract soldiers this year to replenish its ranks, according to people familiar with the planning who spoke on condition of anonymity, cited by Bloomberg.

The ambitious recruiting campaign would allow the Kremlin to avoid another forced mobilization of reservists, the article reads.

A New York Times article published on February 21 quotes American intelligence officials as saying that they are picking up indications that Putin may soon mobilize more Russians into the military, adding hundreds of thousands to the 300,000 already called up. Putin will make the case anew by saying that he is saving Russia from being overrun by NATO. He is almost certain to cast his war as a battle for the restoration of Russia’s historic lands, the article reads.

Ukraine’s military intelligence said Russia could be ready to announce another mobilization round, but is struggling with a shortage of equipment and officers.

Ukraine no longer on “blacklist” of unsatisfactory corruption fighters, Council of Europe’s GRECO says

The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) — the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption body concluded that the current level of Ukraine’s compliance with its recommendations is no longer “globally unsatisfactory”. 

On March 24, GRECO released an interim compliance report that assesses Ukraine’s progress in corruption prevention in respect of members of parliament, judges and prosecutors.

Ukraine has “implemented satisfactorily or dealt in a satisfactory manner” with 15 of the 31 recommendations contained in the evaluation report of 2017, GRECO said. It has partly implemented nine of the remaining recommendations, and has not implemented seven, the report says.

The group also praised Ukraine’s resolve to move ahead with anti-corruption efforts at a time of Russia’s full-scale invasion.

“Wartime has led to the necessity of adopting martial law, a state of emergency and the adjustment of priorities. In such a context, it is remarkable that Ukraine has nevertheless continued its work to implement GRECO’s recommendations. Even if work still lies ahead, Ukraine’s timely submission of information to GRECO, as well as the progress reported, is to be commended,” the report reads.

Current condition of russian sanctioned banks. Ukraine in Flames #379

We have to admit that russia’s financial sector has withstood the onslaught of sanctions. Even though Sberbank’s most recent earnings reports showed a massive 78% collapse in profits due to all these asset seizures, russian banks have survived Western sanctions better than anyone would have imagined. Watch Ukraine in flames #379 to find out about the state of the russian banking system in the second year of russian brutal invasion of Ukraine and what needs to be done to actually cut russia off from the civilized world.  


  • Oleg Pendzyn, Economic Expert
  • Oleksandr Lysenko, Independent corporate governance consultant, Member of the International Working Group on Russian Sanctions