Zelensky says Russia plans to draft another 300,000 troops in June

Russia is planning to draft an additional 300,000 soldiers in June, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Wednesday during a press conference with the Finnish president in Kyiv.

“I can say that Russia is preparing to mobilise 300,000 additional troops on 1 June,” Zelensky said, in comments reported by the Interfax-Ukraine news agency.

When asked how many people Ukraine was planning to draft into the army this year, Zelensky said that he could not give a specific number but that Ukraine did not “need half a million”.

Russian independent media outlet Verstka reported in late March that the Russian Defence Ministry planned to draft 300,000 more troops into the army in a process called “hidden mobilisation”, focusing on reservists, men doing mandatory military service, students at military universities and veterans discharged from service.

The twice-yearly call-up for men aged 18 to 30 selected to perform their mandatory military service began in Russia on 1 April, with an expected 150,000 new recruits set to join the Russian military.

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