Posted: Sunday, October 30, 2022. 12:27 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Reuters reports that Russia has announced it has finished calling up reserve army members to fight in Ukraine, having drafted about 300 thousand in a month, a quarter of which (82 thousand) are on the battlefield.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, however, said he doubted Moscow was finished calling up soldiers. In his nightly televised address, he said Russian forces “are so poorly prepared and equipped, so brutally used by their command, that it allows us to presume that very soon Russia may need a new wave of people to send to the war.”
The divisive mobilization drive has seen tens of thousands of men flee the country and gave rise to the first sustained public protests against the war.
Putin thanked reservists “for their dedication to duty, for their patriotism, for their firm determination to defend our country, to defend Russia, which means their home, their family, our citizens, our people.”
Both men acknowledged “problems” in the early days of the call-up. Shoigu said initial issues in supplying newly mobilized troops had since been resolved. Putin said mistakes had probably been inevitable as Russia had not carried out a mobilization for such a long time, but that lessons had been learned. The mobilization Putin ordered last month after his forces suffered major battlefield setbacks was the first time most Russians faced a direct personal impact from the “special military operation” he launched in February.
Meanwhile, the United States is sending another $275 million in military assistance to Ukraine, bringing the monetary total of support to $18.5 billion. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington and its allies and partners were working to provide Ukraine with the air defence capabilities it needs, with two initial sophisticated anti-aircraft NASAMS ready for delivery to the country next month.
Ukraine has been continuing to make gains in the south even as Russia rains down missiles on civil infrastructure targets.
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