The military now pays more than the oil and gas sector

  • Russia is experiencing a labor shortage due to its war with Ukraine.
  • The Russian military pays more in enlistment bonuses and salaries than the oil and gas sector.
  • Russia’s oil and gas revenues have helped fill its war chest.

Russia faces a labor crisis as its war with Ukraine diverts labor from the country’s economy.

The labor shortage has become so severe that the Russian military now offers hiring bonuses and salaries so competitive that even the country’s lucrative oil and gas industry is not keeping pace, Bloomberg reported Monday .

Russia’s oil and gas sector has paid wages at least two-thirds higher than the national average since 2017, according to Bloomberg calculations based on official data.

This is no longer the case.

In January and February, Russian oil and gas workers earned about 125,200 rubles, or $1,370, in nominal monthly wages, according to the media outlet.

But the Russian military is now offering incentives to contract soldiers, including a nationwide signing bonus of 195,000 rubles, according to a Russian government portal. Each region of the country also offers an additional one-time payment of up to 1 million rubles, according to Bloomberg.

The salary of a contract soldier starts from 210 thousand rubles per month.

This means that people who enlist in the war receive enlistment bonuses and monthly salaries higher than a month’s salary in the oil or gas sector.

The competition that the Russian military poses to its oil and gas sector is significant because the country is a major energy producer and strong revenues from the industry have allowed Moscow to fill its war chest. It also illustrates how Moscow’s war in Ukraine – now in its third year – is siphoning resources from the rest of the Russian economy.

Moscow-based Kasatkin Consulting, a former Deloitte research center, estimates that Russia’s oil and gas industry will face a shortage of 40,000 workers this year, according to Bloomberg.

“The shortage of personnel has affected even wealthy industries,” Alexei Zakharov, president of, an online recruiter, told the media outlet. “The oil and gas sector can afford to attract employees with higher salaries, but the state competes by offering military contracts.”

Putin urges Russians to have more children

Russia’s labor shortage is not solely due to wartime mobilization.

There was a massive brain drain after the start of the war – which was somewhat reversed – and a demographic crisis was brewing before the start of the conflict.

Additionally, the UK estimated last month that around 450,000 Russian service personnel had been killed or injured since the war began in February 2022. This excludes those killed while serving in military companies. private.

The demographic crisis in Russia is so serious that Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to encourage women to have more children to ensure their ethnic survival.

“If we want to survive as an ethnic group – well, as ethnic groups inhabiting Russia – there must be at least two children,” Putin said at a tank factory in February.


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