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Russian state-controlled media outlets have reportedly been prohibited from publishing any information about the mobilization in the country, even if the statements originate from Russia’s parliament, the Moscow Times reported, citing unnamed officials.
The Kremlin has significantly tightened controls on state-controlled media in response to rumors of a second wave of mobilization in Russia and the Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu’s open intent to expand the army.
Shoigu said that the Russian military must increase in size from its current 1 million personnel to 1.5 million, including 695,000 volunteer contract soldiers, as demanded by Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. He didn’t specify when the military planned to reach this given number.
Ukraine’s General Staff also reported in late November that Moscow plans to launch a new mobilization campaign in January-February 2023.
By the end of October, Russia had claimed to have mobilized 300,000 people, with an average age of 35. 80,000 mobilized soldiers were sent to Ukraine, with nearly half of this number already on the front line, according to Shoigu.
An analysis by Russian independent media outlet Mediazona estimates that approximately 492,000 men have likely been conscripted into the army since Putin announced a “partial mobilization” of 300,000 men on Sept. 21.