London Business News

Putin calls up ‘the reserve army’ and Moscow are recruiting thousands of prisoners to fight in Ukraine

Vladimir Putin has called up the “reserve army” to military training camps including “state security agencies and the Federation Security Service (FSB.”

The Kremlin are having severe problems trying to form a “trained military force” and the public’s mood has made officials wary of launching a modern wave of mobilisation.

Russian Kremlin-aligned news agency RIA Novosti reported that Putin said, “[I hereby decree that] citizens of the Russian Federation in the reserve army shall be called up to undergo military training in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, forces of the National Guard of the Russian Federation, state security agencies, and the Federal Security Service (FSB) in 2023.”

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According to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) the Kremlin are recruiting more prisoners to fight in Ukraine and they believe that as many as 10,000 convicts joined in April.

The MoD said, “From summer 2022, prisoners were the key pool of recruits for the Wagner Group private military company’s operations in Ukraine.

“However, the group highly likely lost access to the Russian penal system in February 2023 when its public feud with the MoD was escalating.

“The MoD’s prisoner recruitment campaign is fraction of a broader, intense effort by the Russian military to bolster its numbers, while attempting to avoid implementing modern mandatory mobilisation, which would be very unpopular with the Russian public.”

In April Ukrainian intelligence announced that Russia’s most combat ready units acquire been destroyed.

Andriy Yusov, a representative of the Main Intelligence Agency of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, said. “The Russian Federation has a mobilisation potential and a significant amount of equipment.”

He then warned, “But this does not mean that the enemy has been defeated or that it has lost the full danger for Ukraine.”