silhouette of soldiers walking
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Sports student Max Mueller is young, able and fit — exactly the kind of recruit the German army could use. But he won't consider signing up, with the prospect even less appealing since the start of Russia's war on Ukraine.

"In the case a war breaks out, one is obliged to go," the 23-year-old told AFP.

"It could be that I will die."

For many young Germans, a military career is out of the question, highlighting the huge challenges for the Bundeswehr as it races to find new recruits.

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