Russian space agency Roscosmos recruiting fighters for war against Ukraine: report

three cosmonauts holding a red, dark-blue, and light-blue-striped flag aboard the international space station
Russian cosmonauts display the flag of the Luhansk People's Republic, a breakaway entity in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region, aboard the International Space Station. (Image credit: Roscosmos)

Roscosmos is recruiting and training militia members for Russia's ongoing invasion and occupation of Ukraine, according to a Financial Times report. 

The campaign by Russia's main space corporation aims to create the "Uran" battalion, which takes its name from the Russian for Uranus, consisting of Roscosmos employees, according to Ars Technica, citing the FT report.

Roscosmos is preparing to launch the Luna 25 moon mission in August as part of its traditional sphere of activities, but it is now also working to reinforce Russia's stalled invasion of Ukraine

Related: Russia's war on Ukraine has caused lasting damage to international spaceflight cooperation

"State corporation Roscosmos calls on you to join the Uran volunteer battalion where you will be trained for victory in this great war," one recruitment video states.

Roscosmos is apparently offering financial incentives to individuals who sign up. These bonuses reportedly outstrip the remuneration received by most of its employees.

Efforts by state corporations to boost Russia's military forces are seen as an attempt to persuade people to join the war effort while allowing the government to avoid announcing a draft. 

Despite the bloody and devastating conflict, which has seen a wide range of sanctions imposed on Russia, Roscosmos has been largely overlooked and still works closely with NASA and the European Space Agency as they continue cooperation in running the International Space Station (ISS).

Ars Technica reported that a number of former NASA astronauts are unhappy about Russia's war on Ukraine, and that Roscosmos' now direct involvement in the conflict should push NASA's relations to a breaking point in its engagement with Russia over the ISS.

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Andrew Jones
Contributing Writer

Andrew is a freelance space journalist with a focus on reporting on China's rapidly growing space sector. He began writing for in 2019 and writes for SpaceNews, IEEE Spectrum, National Geographic, Sky & Telescope, New Scientist and others. Andrew first caught the space bug when, as a youngster, he saw Voyager images of other worlds in our solar system for the first time. Away from space, Andrew enjoys trail running in the forests of Finland. You can follow him on Twitter @AJ_FI.