Saturday, June 22, 2024

Russia says doesn’t need to draft more soldiers

Russia does not need another mobilization and has been signing up volunteers for contract service, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has stated, refuting a Financial Times report claiming that such a new draft was being planned.

The FT claimed, citing several sources who spoke to the outlet, that in order to maintain momentum in the conflict and launch a new summer offensive, Moscow will need to mobilize more troops. According to one source, allegedly close to the Russian Defense Ministry, “by the end of this year, or early next year, a new partial mobilization wave will become inevitable”.

However Peskov told reporters on Saturday “It is unlikely that FT understands the real picture. I can only say that we are actively recruiting volunteers willing to serve on a contract basis, the process continues daily. And the president [Vladimir Putin] has said more than once that, according to our military, there is no need [for another mobilization]”.

Last month, Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky also claimed that Russia was planning to mobilize an additional 300,000 troops by as early as June 1. To that, Peskov at the time simply responded “not true”.

Russia carried out a partial mobilization in September 2022, seven months into the conflict. This allowed 300,000 people, primarily those with previous military experience, to be called to duty. Following this, further recruitment was carried out on a voluntary basis.

In December, Putin stated that Russia does not plan to announce a second mobilization, noting at the time that the inflow of volunteers had been exceeding expectations. In early April, the Defense Ministry said that more than 100,000 Russian citizens had volunteered for military service since the beginning of the year.

Meanwhile, Ukraine has been struggling to replenish the ranks of its army amid a series of setbacks in the conflict. Last month, Kiev adopted a new mobilization law that lowered the conscription age from 27 to 25, expanded the powers of enlistment officers, and introduced stricter penalties for draft dodgers. Earlier in May, a law was also passed allowing some prison inmates to be released on parole for joining the military in an effort to address critical shortages of manpower on the front line.

Zelensky previously insisted that only 31,000 Ukrainian servicemen had been killed in the conflict so far. This figure was treated with skepticism even among Ukraine’s Western sponsors. The Russian Defense Ministry, meanwhile, has claimed that Ukrainian military casualties this year alone have amounted to over 111,000 soldiers.

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