Putin reveals number of troops in Ukraine conflict zone — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

Putin reveals number of troops in Ukraine conflict zone — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

Some 617,000 soldiers and officers are fighting Kiev in some capacity, the Russian president has said

Russia has deployed more than half a million service members, including many volunteers, in the combat zone of the Ukraine conflict, President Vladimir Putin has revealed.

Speaking during his Q&A session on Thursday, the Russian leader was asked to comment on complaints that military volunteers often rely on aid fundraised by their fellow citizens rather than on state support.

Putin emphasized that supplies provided by the government account for 99% of all assistance, but noted that Moscow welcomes and will in no way hinder pure-hearted efforts to provide Russian soldiers with various types of equipment and supplies.

Still, he admitted that there could be a lack of specialized high-tech hardware, such as electronic warfare equipment, at a given time and place, and promised to look into the matter.

I want to repeat myself: the line of contact [with Ukraine] is more than 2,000km long. There are now 617,000 people in the combat zone … So, of course, there could be some problems in some places.

According to Putin, 244,000 of those in the combat zone are troops that were called up when Russia announced partial mobilization in September 2022. They were deployed in a bid to stabilize the situation, protect new territories, and conduct further offensives. At the time, Moscow mobilized 300,000 troops. However, Putin said that 41,000 had since been discharged for health reasons, or after reaching the maximum age.

Moscow has repeatedly denied it plans to announce a second wave of mobilization, with the Russian president explaining that there was no need for such a move. Instead, Russia is relying on a steady stream of volunteers willing to sign contracts with the military.

Putin noted that the authorities had signed up some 486,000 soldiers in this large-scale recruitment campaign, adding that more are ready to enlist. However, he did not say how many of them have been deployed to the front, are undergoing training, or are stationed elsewhere.

Commenting on the battlefield situation, Putin remarked that Russian troops “to say it humbly, are improving their positions” along the entire frontline. He also said that Ukraine’s much-hyped counteroffensive – which began in early June – has been a complete failure, with no territorial gains. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu earlier this month estimated Kiev’s losses at more than 125,000 troops since the start of the push.

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