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Bloomberg: Russia eyes Chechens, convicts to avoid full mobilization

by Martin Fornusek July 5, 2023 10:17 AM 2 min read
This audio is created with AI assistance

Russia plans to send more Chechen fighters and convicts to the front to avoid full mobilization, Bloomberg wrote on July 5, citing European intelligence sources.

Reportedly, these reinforcements should help to fill the gap after the exit of the Wagner Group contractors.

Chechens and prisoners should provide Russian dictator Vladimir Putin with a more acceptable alternative to a full mobilization, which the dictator is determined to avoid, according to the outlet's sources.

The Kremlin announced partial mobilization last year's September as Ukrainian troops were successfully counterattacking in Kharkiv and Kherson oblasts. While Russian authorities announced the end of the mobilization on Oct. 31, reports indicate that Moscow has been continuing the process covertly.

According to Bloomberg, Ukrainian advances at Bakhmut's outskirts and the withdrawal of the Wagner fighters from the city in late May forced Moscow to concentrate large forces in the sector.

This threatens to overstretch Russian lines, leaving shortages of troops in the occupied portions of southern Ukraine, Bloomberg wrote.

Wagner Group's founder Yevgeny Prigozhin had been recruiting convicts from Russian prisons for the drawn-out siege of Bakhmut, which fell to Russian forces at the end of May.

According to the mercenary boss, one-fifth out of the 50,000 recruited prisoners have been killed in combat.

After Prigozhin's short-lived rebellion on June 23-24, the Wagner Group and its founders were set to leave for Belarus. Ukraine's military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov said that the mercenary group will no longer fight on the Ukrainian battlefield.

Prigozhin published a statement on June 26, promising "further victories at the front" without providing any further details.

This Week in Ukraine Ep. 14 – Wagner’s mutiny attempt in Russia, and its consequences
Episode #14 of our weekly video podcast “This Week in Ukraine” is dedicated to Wagner mercenary group’s failed attempt to take on the Russian military establishment and its consequences. Host Anastasiia Lapatina is joined by the Kyiv Independent’s reporter Francis Farrell. Listen to the audio vers…
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