Russia ramps up military draft in Ukrainian occupied territories

Russians spring conscription
Russians spring conscription

Russia has begun its spring conscription campaign, forcibly enlisting Ukrainians from the temporarily occupied territories of Zaporizhzhya Oblast, Zaporizhzhya Oblast governor, Ivan Fedorov, reported on Telegram on April 25.

This move follows a decree from Russian President Vladimir Putin mandating the conscription of youth within Russia, with the occupied Ukrainian territories receiving no exemption.

Read also: Russia plans to recruit 300,000 contract soldiers to avoid mass conscription

Yevhen Balytskyi, the Moscow-appointed 'leader' of Zaporizhzhya Oblast, initiated the creation of "enlistment offices" in mid-April to facilitate this process. "Involving residents from occupied territories for service in the occupying country's army is a violation of international law," stated Fedorov, highlighting the legal breaches involved.

Russian authorities previously claimed they would not conscript draftees from the occupied territories for at least five years.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced plans on Dec. 19, 2023, to expand the nation’s armed forces to 1.5 million personnel with the number of contracted soldiers expected to reach 745,000 individuals.

National Resistance Center, citing its own sources, reported on Feb. 13 that the Russians were going to involve conscripts in combat operations in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.

Read also: Russia steps up propaganda efforts to encourage conscription – HUR

Russia reportedly announced a new conscription wave for men born in 1994-2006 on April 1 in the occupied parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

Putin signed a decree on March 31 initiating a sprint draft from April 1 to July 15, aiming to conscript 150,000 soldiers into the army. Under the new rules, regarding the age of conscripts, the spring conscription will particularly target youth aged 18 to 30.

Ukraine's Southern Defense Forces are confident that Russia will intensify mobilization in the temporarily occupied territories after collecting information about people during the pseudo-elections.

Read also: Russian military recruits female convicts, Kyiv says

UK intelligence suggested on March 30 that Russia is conscripting about 30,000 new servicemen each month for the war against Ukraine.

Russia is preparing to conscript 300,000 more people by June 1, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on April 3.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine