The Russian Wagner mercenary group has suffered heavy losses in Ukraine and has resorted to unusual means to recruit soldiers.
Wagner placed an ad on Pornhub in which male viewers were urged to join the private army and fight in Ukraine instead of pleasuring themselves.
The ad featured a blonde woman wearing red lipstick seductively sucking on a lollipop while another woman’s voice in the background claimed that they were the coolest army in the world.
The phone number of Wagner recruiters appeared in the middle of the screen, and the video was posted on Pornhub and viewed by Russian viewers without an ad blocker and VPN before the site removed the ad.
Wagner’s desperation to recruit more soldiers comes after heavy losses in Ukraine, particularly in the besieged city of Bakhmut.
The UK’s Ministry of Defence stated that Wagner chief Vevgeny Prigozhin has likely lost access to recruiting Russian prisoners due to his ongoing disputes with the Russian MoD leadership.
Prigozhin has opened recruitment centers in 42 cities and has recently given career talks in Moscow high schools.
Masked Wagner recruits have also distributed questionnaires titled “application of a young warrior” to collect the contact details of interested pupils.
Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Wagner has deployed 40,000 convicted prisoners to fight in Ukraine, making up the vast majority of the group’s personnel in the country.
The UK’s MoD estimated that about half of those prisoners have become casualties in the war, while the White House estimated the number at over 30,000 in February.
Prigozhin, an ex-convict, has emerged from the shadows to assume a high profile since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
His public profile, political influence, and fondness for profanely lambasting top army brass has angered some in the government who want him reined in.
Prigozhin has continued to demand that Russia supply him with more ammunition, reinforcements, and covering support if he is to win the months-long battle of attrition for Bakhmut.
His appeal came amid signs of a deepening rift between him and the defence ministry, whom he has bitterly criticized for months, accusing them of deliberately starving his men of ammunition.
The Wagner chief has also claimed that his representative had been denied access to the headquarters of Russia’s military command for Ukraine and was still not getting enough munitions despite repeated public complaints.
Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, has said he favors the continued defense and reinforcement of Bakhmut, and it is obvious that Kyiv would fight for Bakhmut to the end.
Prigozhin believes that his men need to completely surround Ukrainian forces inside Bakhmut and has called for coordination, without ambition, screw-ups, or tantrums, among everyone involved.