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Russia drafts 134,500 conscripts, claiming it is unrelated to the war

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree ordering 134,000 new conscripts into the army, but the Russian Ministry of Defence claims they would not be sent to Ukraine, Reuters reported on Thursday.

According to the presidential decree, the annual spring military draft, planned for the period between 1 April and 15 July 2022, will concern men aged from 18 to 27. The recruits will go through three to five months of training, and will not be sent to any “hot spots”, Russian Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu stressed on Tuesday.”

Reuters reported that conscripts being potentially involved in the war was highly sensitive, as the Russian Ministry of Defence confirmed on March 9 that conscripts had been sent to Ukraine before. President Putin has denied this on many occasions, claiming that only professional soldiers were being sent to fight in Ukraine.

Under Russian law conscripts could be sent to fight following a few months of training, pointed out lawyer Mikhail Benyash, representing several members of the Russian National Guard, who refused to fight in Ukraine.

The spring military draft is just a cover for a secret mobilisation of reservists who will be sent to fight in Ukraine Ukrainian military intelligence warned on Thursday. They added that prisoners would also be mobilised.

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