Russia plans large-scale mobilization for new Ukraine offensive

Russia is reportedly planning to mobilize at least 300,000 personnel in the near future for deployment to the war in Ukraine as part of a new offensive, according to the Verstka news outlet, which cited its own sources.

Verstka claims that the Russian Armed Forces aim to occupy Kharkiv while trying to avoid demolishing the city to prevent it from becoming a "second Mariupol." They intend to encircle the city. Within the Kremlin, there is a desire to use Kharkiv as a "showcase" to allegedly demonstrate that the Russians are capable of conducting warfare in a "civilized" manner.

The report suggests that the mobilization could start as early as March 25. Initially, reservists who are on standby but have contracts with the Russian Ministry of Defense will be the first to be sent to the war—numbering about two million people in Russia.

According to Verstka, the mobilization will also include other categories of reservists from the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. This group includes those who have been discharged from service, attended military institutions, not served for various reasons, undergone alternative civilian service, and women with military specialties.

The Kremlin also intends to deploy conscripts nearing the end of their military service, with one source mentioning, "They will be persuaded by all means possible."

Another source disclosed that the flow of Russians willing to fight in Ukraine has drastically dwindled, compelling the Kremlin to forcibly mobilize people for the war. In October 2023, only about 20 to 30 people per day were showing up at recruitment centers, a stark decrease from the previous 500 to 600 applicants per day.

An advisor to the Head of the President's Office, Mykhailo Podolyak, spoke whether the mobilization in Russia could alter the situation at the front. He suggested that Russia is trying to incite panic among Ukrainians, hence the periodic broadcasting of various alarming statements.

  War in Ukraine, Russia