Ukraine military believes this will be Vladimir Putin's next big move
Russia-Ukraine War: Russian officials have said that there are no current plans for a new wave of mobilisation.
Ukraine's military said that Russia could launch a big mobilisation campaign soon to try to recruit hundreds of thousands of soldiers from inside Russia and occupied Ukraine. Without any evidence, the Ukrainian general staff said, “A mass forced mobilisation of the population is expected soon in the Russian Federation and temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine due to the occupiers' catastrophic losses.”
Russian officials have said that there are no current plans for a new wave of mobilisation and that Moscow is focused on recruiting professional soldiers. But Ukraine's military said that the mobilisation campaign could target between 400,000 and 700,000 recruits, citing different estimates.
The number of Russians recruited in Moscow and St Petersburg would remain "minimal", while Russians would be drawn heavily from the regions outside the two big Russian cities, it said.
This comes days after a senior Ukrainian military spy official said there were 420,000 Russian servicemen currently inside Ukraine. Last month, the New York Times reported citing unnamed US officials that nearly 500,000 Ukrainian and Russian troops had been killed or wounded in the war since Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022.
Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said if Russian president Vladimir Putin decides to run in the 2024 presidential election, no one will be able to compete with him. "The president has not yet announced that he will nominate his candidacy," Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by Russia's RBC business news service reported.
“But if we assume that the president stands as a candidate, then it is obvious that there can be no real competition for the president at this current stage,” the spokesman said adding that Vladimir Putin "enjoys the absolute support of the population".