Russian reservists have been contacted and called into recruiting offices as Vladimir Putin heads for a ‘national roll-out’. Civilians in Moscow reacted to the reports with panic, telling Sky News they were “very scared” of being called out. Fears of mass mobilization precede Monday’s Victory Day parade, where it is suspected President Putin could announce drastic plans.
Sky News’ diplomatic editor Dominic Waghorn interviewed ordinary Russians on the streets of Moscow about the speculation.
A Russian man replied: “I’m very scared, obviously I don’t want this to happen.”
Another said: “If you want to know if I would like to go, no, I don’t.”
A third added: ‘As a law-abiding citizen I wouldn’t have a choice so it’s not my choice.
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Human rights groups say Russian reservists are being contacted in what could be the start of general mobilization and all-out war.
Mr Waghorn said: “It is feared that the Russian government will soon call them to fight in Ukraine.
“Russia denies that a general mobilization is about to be announced.
“But human rights groups say reservists are already being contacted by authorities in what could be the first step of a nationwide appeal.
“Reservists have confirmed to Sky News that they are being called up to recruiting offices.”
Mr Wallace claimed Putin had ‘rolled around, setting the stage so he could say, ‘Listen, this is now a war against the Nazis, and what I need is more people’ “.
Ukraine’s intelligence and security chiefs echoed that prediction, suggesting the Kremlin could be preparing for a broader mobilization.
It is believed that Russia has significantly reduced its ranks in its struggling invasion force.
Western officials estimate Russia’s death toll could already be 20,000 to 5,000 more war dead than its armed forces have suffered in Afghanistan in 10 years.
Thousands of troops will march through Red Square in Moscow on Monday to mark the 77th anniversary of victory in what Russia calls the Great Patriotic War.