Originally published in Russian. Translated exclusively for SouthFront
On September 21, Russian Minister of Defence gave interview to the Russia 24 TV channel. He commented on the ongoing military operations in Ukraine and provided details on the partial mobilization in Russia declared on the same day by President Vladimir Putin.
Sergey Kuzhugetovich, how would you describe the general situation in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation today?
All types and branches of the Armed Forces, including the nuclear triad, perform their tasks in accordance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the instructions of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Federation – our President.
How are things going in Ukraine now?
In fact, there is going a big, difficult combat work that is being done with honor by our servicemen, the Luhansk, Donetsk People’s Republics and other units and volunteers who are participate in this operation.
The Lugansk People’s Republic was liberated, movement continues in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Part of the Kherson, Zaporizhzhya regions are also under control.
And here, naturally, I cannot but place emphasis that today we are fighting not so much with Ukraine, or the Ukrainian army, as with the collective West. Because the weapons that Ukraine had – it is actually over today. This is a former Soviet weapon. Many of the Young Europeans, especially the zealous, try. They, in my opinion, cleaned everything they had, all the warehouses were carefully swept to give everything.
We are constantly knocking all this out and the time has already come when we are really at war with the collective West plus NATO.
When we talk about this, we mean not only those weapons that are supplied in huge quantities, in huge quantities – and we naturally find ways and methods to combat these weapons – but, of course, those systems that are: communication systems, information processing systems and intelligence systems, satellite intelligence.
Imagine that they work for them, I will say not “for them,” but against us, in fact, the entire NATO satellite constellation – according to our estimates, more than 70 military and more than 200 civilian satellites. They are working to explore the location of our units.
Well, and then, also the supply of what is called precision weapons. It surprised us that recently they have been trying to hide its number in some way. For a wide range, this may be a secret, but not for us.
We understand why these things are hidden from a wide range of the public. Because more and more often, and more precisely, almost every day we see these weapons hit civilians.
Literally yesterday, civilians died from the strike of such weapons and this is not the first death. They hit hospitals, hit places of mass gathering of people. This, as we believed, is some kind of uncontrollability – in fact, this is absolutely complete control. Control over Western instructors, curators, of whom there are a lot. The last group that arrived from former and current military personnel is 150 people. This, in fact, is completely a command. The Western command is sitting in Kiev, which leads all operations.
We also understand that at the initial stage the Armed Forces of Ukraine represented about 201-202 thousand people. During this time, more than 100 thousand of their losses – 61,207 people and 49,368 others wounded. These are quite significant losses. That is, if we talk about a little more than 200 thousand in the army and more than 100 thousand losses, this is half of the army lost.
Therefore they have a fourth wave of mobilization, almost 300 thousand have been mobilized. And, as you can see, probably through different channels, information resources – this work continues in different directions, which is called: “from the beach to the station” is goes trapping.
And then one cannot but say more about the instructors. But not just instructors, but about mercenaries who are in this environment, and today there are a little more than a thousand of them left there in place. Most of them – someone left, someone died – more than two thousand mercenaries died.
But they naturally tried and try to do their bit… and here the main thing is not that they came there – the main thing is that the recruitment of these people is actually under the tutelage of the state.
That is, the states from which they came – they actually recruit these mercenaries or turn a blind eye to those who engage in this recruitment.
I can’t help but say we haven’t talked about it for a long time, about our losses… Our losses to date are 5937 dead. And here I cannot yet and over again not mark our guys who courageously fulfill their duty. I can’t help but say about our doctors – out of the total number of wounded, more than 90% returned in formation. These are the guys who went through our hospitals, medical institutions, returned to service and continue to serve.
And here I will again return to what is happening in Ukraine – we continue to fulfill the tasks that are set for us. Yeah, not simply. At times is very not simply. But we will fulfill them.
The President of Russia has made a decision on partial mobilization. Please tell us more – how will it go? Who is subject to conscription? In what quantity? How will work with those called from the reserve be carried out?
You said correctly, – exactly from the reserves. These are not some people who have never seen anything about the army… These are really those who have served, have a military accounting specialty, that is, the specialty that is needed today in the Armed Forces, have combat experience.
And, of course, I immediately want to precede the questions that may arise in this regard – there is no talk of any mobilization, appeals of students studying at universities and there will be no talk under any conditions. Everyone calmly goes to classes, no one will call them, mobilize them.
Naturally, as well as those who serve on conscription. That doesn’t concern them either. They are not subject to any mobilization and direction for a special military operation. Our conscripts also continue to serve, as they did, on the territory of the Russian Federation.
Because we have a huge mobilization resource, that is, the resource of those who served. Those who have combat experience, have a military specialty, we have almost twenty-five million.
Thus, you can understand that this mobilization is partial – one percent or slightly more of the total mobilization resource.
The line of contact itself, you can call it the “front line,” you can call it the “contact line” – it is more than a thousand kilometers.
This is such a natural line and there, along this line, it is necessary to consolidate this territory, it is necessary to control and, of course, first of all, this is what this work is done for, I mean partial mobilization.
Of course, after they are recruited, they will undergo training or retraining. The combat coordination of crews, teams, departments, platoons will take place, and only after that, exclusively after that, they will go to perform the tasks that are prescribed for them.
Can we talk about a specific number of called reservists?
Yes, of course, 300 thousand reservists will be called up. I want to say right away that this work will not be carried out immediately, but as planned, as I said. That is, it is not provided for here, you know, a “wide-gripping” combine – a sieve to “capture” everyone quickly – no.
I want to say that it so coincided that at the same time, according to our plans, we had to hold mobilization fees.
You know, we used to collect for two weeks or someone for more time in order to restore the driving skills of military equipment. It coincided with this event, the statement about partial mobilization. Therefore, we cancel the planned fees and will be engaged in partial mobilization.
Very important complete information, but the operation is ongoing – what are its prospects?
You know, there may be particular, there may be some deviations in terms of terms and actions. But there is a main, primary task that has been set, and this task is being fulfilled. Naturally, we do everything to ensure that it is fulfilled.
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