President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with the German newspaper Bild that Russian President Vladimir Putin's order to mobilize additional troops was expected and points to Russia's shortage of officers and other military personnel.
Zelensky said that, according to Ukraine's intelligence, Russia has already been carrying out mobilization over the past month.
"We already know they mobilized cadets, guys who couldn't fight. These cadets have fallen. They couldn't even finish their training. All these people cannot fight. They have come to us and died," he said, as quoted by Bild. "He (Putin) wants to drown Ukraine in blood, but also in the blood of his own soldiers," Zelensky added.
Zelensky said he hadn't watched Putin's televised address where he announced the mobilization because it "was nothing new for me" and it is "not my favorite (kind of) video."
He also said that Putin's mobilization decision, as well as the announcements to hold pseudo-referendums on joining Russia in the occupied Ukrainian territories, will not change Ukraine's plan to liberate its lands.
"We will act step by step according to our plans. I am sure we will free our territory," he said.
Putin declared mobilization that he says will primarily target the Russian Armed Forces’ reserve personnel earlier on Sept. 21.
for an independent Ukraine