Putin: Call-up of Russian reservists to finish in 2 weeks


KYIV, UKRAINE (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says he thinks a mobilization of army reservists he ordered last month to bolster his country's troops in Ukraine will be completed in two weeks.

Putin told reporters after attending a summit in Kazakhstan on Friday that 222,000 of the 300,000 reservists the Russian Defense Ministry said would get called up have been mobilized. A total of 33,000 of them are already in military units and 16,000 are involved in the military operation in Ukraine.

The call-up, announced by Putin in September, has proved hugely unpopular in Russia, where almost all men under the age of 65 are registered as reservists.

The Russian leader initially described the mobilization as “partial” and said only those with combat or service experience would be drafted. However, a decree he signed outlined almost no specific criteria.

Russian media reports have described attempts to round up men without relevant experience, including those ineligible for service for medical reasons.

In the wake of the president's mobilization order, tens of thousands of men left Russia.

Putin also said Friday there was no need for more widespread attacks against Ukraine, such as those Russia launched Monday. He said the Russian military is making selective strikes against targets selected earlier but that were not destroyed.