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Russian Military Calls for Accordion, Balalaika Donations

Alexander Avilov / Moskva News Agency

Authorities in St. Petersburg said the Russian military has opened collection points for musical instruments for Russian soldiers in Ukraine to boost morale.

“The Russian Defense Ministry has organized the collection and transfer of musical instruments to the mobilized [and] military personnel performing special tasks who have no professional musical education,” reads a message posted by one of the city’s municipal districts Friday.

Donors are asked to leave accordions, balalaikas, harmonicas and guitars at military museums across Russia’s second-largest city.

The donations aim to “support morale, unity, inspire heroic deeds and moral and psychological relief” among the Russian troops.

Musical instruments are the latest items to be crowdsourced for members of the Russian Armed Forces.

Almost immediately following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February, officials have been widely reported soliciting civilian help in supplying troops with medicine, consumer devices and even tactical gear. State employees including teachers have been reportedly asked to donate parts of their salaries to the war effort.

Observers link the scale of largely grassroots donations with widespread support for the war among the Russian population despite international condemnation.

Russia’s military has routinely dismissed the frequent reports of equipment and supply shortages.

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