Russian dictator Vladimir Putin told reporters on Oct. 14 at a summit in Kazakhstan that out of the 300,000 reservists Russia's Defense Ministry aimed to mobilize, 200,000 had already been registered, AP reports.
A total of 33,000 of them are already in military units and 16,000 are already fighting in Ukraine, according to Putin. The "partial" mobilization he ordered in September will be completed in two weeks, Putin said.
Putin also told reporters he “did not set out to destroy Ukraine” when he ordered Russian troops to invade on Feb. 24.
“What is happening today is unpleasant, to put it mildly," he said. “But we would have had all this a little later, only under worse conditions for us, that’s all. So my actions are correct and timely.”
The announcement of the mobilization of reservists on Sept. 21 has increased domestic instability in Russia.
While Russian authorities claimed the mobilization would be “partial," military enlistment offices have been arbitrarily drafting those who have no military experience, people with disabilities and severe diseases, as well as fathers of many children – who are all supposed to be exempt.
Russian media reported that five mobilized men had already died in combat in Ukraine just three weeks after Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s declaration of partial mobilization.
Russian military bloggers have claimed, however, that the number of dead and wounded among newly mobilized servicemen is likely higher than official figures due to a lack of training, equipment, unit cohesion, and commanders, the Insitute of War said in its Oct. 13 update.