President Vladimir Putin stated Tuesday that the Russian military has added over half 1,000,000 folks within the final 12 months — each drafted and volunteer fighters — to combat in Ukraine.
After a primary wave of mobilisation final 12 months triggered a wave of emigration, the Kremlin thus far has kept away from saying a second draft however has pursued a marketing campaign to recruit volunteers.
“We had a partial mobilisation… We called up 300,000 people. Now, in the last six or seven months, 270,000 people have voluntarily signed contracts to serve in the Russian army,” Putin stated on the Jap Financial Discussion board.
“Moreover, the process continues, with 1,000-1,500 people coming every day to sign contracts,” he added.
Requested about whether or not Russia will introduce one other mobilisation wave, he didn’t outright deny the likelihood however stated:
“Our men, knowing what awaits them on the front, still go for this consciously and voluntarily to defend the motherland,” Putin stated.
Russia has by no means revealed what number of males took half within the launch of its February 2022 Ukraine offensive, however Western nations have estimated the quantity to be between 150,000 and 190,000.
Putin additionally stated that Western deliveries of F-16s fighter jets to Kyiv would solely drag out the battle.
“They are going to deliver F-16s. Will this change anything? I don’t think so. It will just prolong the conflict,” he stated.
He additionally denounced Washington for sending Kyiv controversial cluster munitions, which triggered criticism from Brussels.
“Not long ago, the US administration believed that the use of cluster munitions is a war crime,” Putin stated.
“Now, they themselves are supplying cluster munitions to combat areas in Ukraine.”
The controversial weapons can disperse as much as a number of hundred small explosive costs, which might stay unexploded within the floor.
Ukraine has relied on Western weaponry to launch and lead its counteroffensive towards Russian forces.