Russia has mobilized an additional 18,000 soldiers above its goal of 300,000 to fight in Ukraine from the general male population, President Vladmir Putin said Friday.
Since issuing a decree near the end of September to bolster Moscow’s forces, 318,000 men have been mobilized in Russia, and 49,000 of them are already in the combat zone fighting, according to Putin. He credited an “inflow of volunteers” who stepped up to fight.
“We already have 318,000. Why 318,000? Because the volunteers are coming. The number of volunteers is not decreasing,” Putin told reporters and volunteers outside of the Kremlin walls.
Last week, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to Putin that the mobilization goal of 300,000 recruits has been reached and that the mobilization draft has been completed.