A total of 300,000 reservists will be called up to fight in the Ukraine conflict, the Russian defense minister has said
Russia will call on 300,000 reservists to serve in the conflict with Ukraine, under a partial nationwide mobilization, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu announced on Wednesday. He added that Moscow has considerable capacity in terms of personnel.
According to Shoigu, the mobilization will apply neither to university students, nor conscripts. The minister stressed that only those who have already served in the military will be called up.
“Those are not people who have never heard anything about the army. Those are those who, firstly, had completed their military service, secondly, those who have a military specialty… and have military experience,” he noted.
Shoigu also stressed that Russia possesses an immense mobilization capability and could summon almost 25 million people with some military experience. “So one could say that this partial mobilization is just 1%, or a bit more” of the total number of people that could be mobilized, he added.
The defense minister noted that the line of contact between Moscow and Ukraine’s forces is more than 1,000 km long, and the mobilization would be used for defending it.
“It is natural that this line should be reinforced and those territories (held by Russia) should be controlled. Of course, this is the purpose of this work,” he said, referring to the mobilization effort.
Earlier on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial military mobilization, describing the move as sensible and necessary due to the military campaign in Ukraine. He pledged that those who are called up will be provided with additional training and benefits.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.