Russia rules out further military mobilization
The Russian military leadership has no plans to conduct mobilization as its current needs are fulfilled by career military service members, including those who volunteered to fight against Ukraine, according to a senior official.
The pledge not to draft additional troops was reiterated on Friday by Vladimir Tsimlyansky, the deputy chief of the mobilization directorate of the General Staff. He was briefing the public about a scheduled conscription campaign that kicks off next week.
“The number of people wishing to enrol in Russian military service under a contract, as well as volunteers who have decided to take part in the special military operation, is sufficient for fulfilling our tasks,” he said.
President Vladimir Putin ordered mobilization of an additional 300,000 troops in September last year. The enrolment was announced seven months into the Ukraine conflict, after Kiev rejected a peaceful resolution and pledged to continue fighting against Russia with Western help.
Ukrainian officials have been predicting a new round of mobilization in Russia for months. Kiev’s military intelligence chief Kirill Budanov claimed in late August that Moscow was planning to enrol an additional 450,000 troops in autumn.
He added that Ukrainians “should not be afraid of it too much” because Russia supposedly has been secretly mobilizing tens of thousands each month and “nothing bad happened.”
The Russian president reported earlier this month that some 300,000 people had enrolled in the Russian army this year alone, explaining why, unlike Kiev, Moscow had no particular need for foreign fighters. The remark was in response to claims that Moscow had asked assistance from North Korea to replenish manpower, an idea that he branded “total nonsense.”
Mobilization in Ukraine has been ongoing since the start of the conflict and had some bumps recently. The country has been hit by scandals involving conscription chiefs, prompting President Vladimir Zelensky to announce in August that he was firing all regional draft heads in the country.
The Ukrainian government has relaxed eligibility standards for recruits, declaring people with certain mental and physical conditions fit for duty. Its Defense Ministry has also ordered female medics and pharmacists to register for possible enrolment, reportedly causing an exodus of women in those professions.