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Russia drafts 134,500 conscripts but says they won’t go to Ukraine

The Jerusalem Post reports: “President Vladimir Putin on Thursday signed a decree ordering 134,500 new conscripts into the army as part of Russia’s annual spring draft, but the defense ministry said the call-up had nothing to do with the war in Ukraine.

The order came five weeks into Russia’s invasion, which has run into fierce Ukrainian resistance. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday that none of those called up would be sent to any ‘hot spots.’

The issue of conscripts’ involvement in the war is highly sensitive. On March 9, the defense ministry acknowledged that some had been sent to Ukraine after Putin had denied this on various occasions, saying only professional soldiers and officers had been sent in.

Putin’s spokesman said at the time that the president had ordered military prosecutors to investigate and punish the officials responsible for disobeying his instructions to exclude conscripts…”

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