Russia’s partial mobilisation will see 300,000 drafted: Defence minister

LONDON: Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday (Sep 21) that President Vladimir Putin’s decree on partial mobilisation would see 300,000 additional personnel called up to serve in Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine.

In an interview with Russian state television, Shoigu said that students and those who served as conscripts would not be called up, and that the majority of Russia’s millions-strong reserves would not be drafted.

He said that the “line of contact” in Ukraine is more than 1,000km long and the primary goal of mobilisation is to help secure territories behind and on the frontline.

In a rare admission of military losses from Moscow, the defence minister also provided revealed that almost 6,000 Russian soldiers have died in Ukraine since the February military intervention.

“Our losses for today are 5,937 dead,” Shoigu said in televised remarks, adding that Russia is “fighting not so much Ukraine as the collective West” in Ukraine.