Deputy head of Russia's Security Council Dmitry Medvedev (2-R) visits a weapons factory in Tatarstan, Russia, in March. Russian leaders and businesses are pushing for a “Soviet-style” work ethic to bolster the nation’s economy amid the war in Ukraine, according to British intelligence. Photo by Ekaterina Shtukina/Sputnik//Government Press Service/EPA-EFE
May 28 (UPI) -- Russian leaders and businesses are pushing for a "Soviet-style" work ethic to bolster the nation's economy amid the war in Ukraine, according to British intelligence.
The British Defense Ministry, which has provided daily intelligence updates, said in its analysis Sunday that public debate in Russia has from punishing those who criticize the war to "mandating citizens to actively make sacrifices in support of the war effort."
"Russian state-backed media and business groups have petitioned the Economic Ministry to authorize a six-day week for workers in the face of the economic demands of the war, apparently without additional pay," the British Defense Ministry analysis reads.
The British Defense Ministry said that Margarita Simonyan, the top editor at Russia's state-run broadcaster RT, has even proposed that citizens should work for two extra hours in munitions factories each day, after their regular jobs.
"The evolving tone of the conversations clearly echoes a Soviet-style sense of societal compulsion," the British Defense Ministry said. "It also highlights how the leadership highly likely identifies economic performance as a decisive factor in winning the war."
Russian President Vladimir Putin told business leaders this week that "the success of a business is the success of the country as a whole," according to a news release from the Kremlin.
Putin also asserted that Russian economic development in parts of Ukraine controlled by Russian forces and illegally annexed by the country last year is critical for Russia's economic future.
"I want to thank the entrepreneurs who are helping to establish a peaceful life in the liberated territories of Donbas and Novorossia, restoring industrial, infrastructural and social facilities," Putin said.
"Such involvement in the common cause of the country, the focus on improving the quality of life of people, of course, deserves support from the state. And this support will certainly be provided."
Putin's comments came as it is believed that the Russian military may be transferring forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic to relieve mercenaries from the Wagner Group in Bakhmut.
The Ukrainian provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk, where Bakhmut is located, together make up the larger Donbas region. Donbas has been largely held by pro-Russian separatists since the Ukrainian territory of Crimea was illegally annexed by Russia in 2014.
Putin recognized Luhansk and Donetsk as independent republics before the start of the invasion and has since signed legislation in Russia that illegally annexed the two provinces, as well as two others in Ukraine.
The Institute for the Study of War, a think tank based in Washington, D.C., said in an analysis Saturday that the transfer of separatist fighters to Bakhmut "may decrease the tempo Russian offensive operations."
Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba pushed back Saturday against recent reports that Chinese Special Representative for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui expressed interest in a ceasefire that would allow Russia to retain control of occupied Ukrainian territory.