Several conscripts are participating in the conflict in Ukraine after the Russian Ministry of Defense said Wednesday that President Vladimir Putin denied such reports and that only professional soldiers were sent to fight. Was admitted.
The Defense Ministry added that since the conflict began on February 24, some conscripts have been taken prisoner by Ukrainian troops while in supply.
“Unfortunately, we have discovered some facts that there is a conscription system for troops participating in special military operations in Ukraine. Virtually all such soldiers have been pulled out to Russia,” the Pentagon said. Says. Said..
Russian officials said they would begin investigating the issue.
Earlier, a group claiming to represent the mothers of Russian soldiers said their sons were forced or pressured to join the Russian army.
“The mother says her sons are forced to call them and sign the contract. Olga Larkina, director of the Union of the Committees of Mothers of Russian Soldiers, told the Russian media. “The parents in contact said that their sons were taken to military officers and stamped. That’s it. Now they are contract soldiers.”
However, Putin issued a statement on Monday through state media that neither conscription nor reserves were used in the conflict.
“We emphasize that conscripts are not participating in hostilities, nor are they participating in hostilities, and there are no additional calls for reservations,” Putin said during a television event. rice field.
Russian leaders added that only “professional military personnel” were involved, according to state media. “I am convinced that they will ensure the security and peace of the Russian people,” he added.
Two weeks later, Russia struggled more than expected at the start of the conflict, according to Pentagon officials, on a phone call with reporters on Tuesday.
However, the invading army of more than 150,000 troops retains a great and perhaps decisive advantage in firepower, as it loses to major cities.
Moscow’s main purpose of overthrowing the Kyiv government remains elusive, with the US saying that the overall attack has slowed due to the lack of coordination between the Air Force and ground forces and the inability to completely control the Ukrainian sky. Officials said.
The Pentagon estimated on Tuesday that it had about 95% of the combat power Russia had deployed in Ukraine. This takes into account the casualties of weapons and vehicles that have been destroyed or inoperable, as well as the army.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.