Putin Drafted More Than 300,000 Soldiers for Ukraine War: Russian President Vladimir Putin’s orders for 300,000 reservists to be conscripted to fight in Ukraine appear to have been taken seriously, with Russian state-run news agency TASS revealing this week that the Russian military overshot and drafted 318,000 troops in total.
TASS reported that the Russian president said in a conversation with volunteers on Friday that the additional troops are mainly volunteers and not citizens forced into serving without proper training.
“We already have 318,000 [mobilized]. Why 318,000? Because the volunteers are coming. The number of volunteers is not decreasing,” Putin reportedly said.
The Russian president also reportedly confirmed that 49,000 have already been deployed to the battlefield and the remaining soldiers are still undergoing training, and even confirmed that a majority of the soldiers being deployed have wives and children.
“Of course, the state is doing everything to support them,” Putin said. “But when it goes from heart to heart, it’s the most important support. It is the most reliable and the most effective.”
Ukraine Conscription Completed
The news that 318,000 troops have been drafted comes days after the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that all partial mobilization activities have now been suspended, as well as “all activities related to conscription for military service.”
In a statement, the Defense Ministry said that volunteers and contractors will still be accepted.
It brings to an end a controversial process of forcefully recruiting Russian men, leading to an exodus of Russian men from the country and even some suicides. Drafting hundreds of thousands of men with extremely limited military experience also led to protests in the country, and in some regions, underage children were reportedly drafted by mistake.
Belarus Joins Russian Forces On Its Border
While Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko has not deployed his troops to fight in Ukraine, reportedly over concerns that his troops cannot be trusted not to defect and fight with Ukraine, his military has sent troops to the border as a defensive measure.
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On Monday, Lukashenko confirmed that he had ordered troops to deploy with Russian forces to the Ukrainian border to protect against what he claimed was a threat to Belarus from Kyiv. The many Western countries allied with Ukraine.
It comes as the Ukrainian military warns that, should the Belarusian military assist Russia, they will respond.
“Your leadership is planning to drag the Belarusian people into a dirty war, to stain them with blood and death,” the video says. “If the Belarusian army supports Russian aggression, we will respond…with our entire arsenal of weapons.”
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.
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