Vladimir Putin has scrambled to deploy new forces to Ukraine since his mobilisation call last week, with reports of conscripts fleeing Russia or hurting themselves to avoid being drafted. In a major escalation in the war, the Russian President has also held referendums in Ukraine’s eastern regions in what experts describe as an attempt to provide cover for the illegal annexation of the regions. A former army officer said those “desperate” actions are evidence Putin is “definitely losing” the war.
Former defence attaché Simon Diggins told Talk TV: “I think what he’s trying to do is trade options for himself.
“I link the partial mobilisation with the increase in the regular armed size of their armed forces in August at over a million people. That included 100,000 odd combat troops.
“What I think he is trying to do is trade options for himself in the new year and probably in the spring or early summer.”
“The figure of 300,000 is interesting. They come from the Russian defence ministry,” Mr Diggins said.
“Other reports suggested that it could be up to a million people that’d be mobilised.
“What does seem to be happening is the figures are not necessarily based on previous service but in some cases local governments are just given quotas.”
An unnamed Kremlin source told independent Russian media that the hidden paragraph seven of the presidential decree allows the Ministry of Defence to mobilise one million people.
The number is significantly higher than the 300,000 conscripts Putin claimed would be drafted in a televised speech last week.