Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that 50,000 Russian soldiers called up as part of his mobilization drive were now fighting with combat units in Ukraine, the Interfax news agency reported.
Putin said 80,000 were “in the zone of the special military operation” – the term Russia uses for its war in Ukraine – and the rest of the almost 320,000 draftees were at training camps in Russia.
“We now have 50,000 in their combat units. The rest are not taking part in the fighting yet,” Interfax quoted Putin as saying during a visit to the Tver region, outside Moscow.
In September, Putin announced a “partial mobilization” drive to call up hundreds of thousands of new fighters for the war after Ukraine recaptured large swathes of territory in a counter-offensive. The move triggered an exodus of hundreds of thousands of Russians and triggered anti-war protests across the country.
Last week Putin said a total of 318,000 had been called-up in the draft.
Russia ended the partial mobilization drive at the end of October, with defense minister Sergei Shoigu saying on Oct. 28 that around 41,000 Russian fighters had already joined their combat units fighting in Ukraine.