Dispatch of the mobilized from the Arkhangelsk region. Photo from the page of regional governor Alexander Tsybulsky

Russian authorities plan to mobilize 300,000 people, high-ranking sources claim

A “hidden" mobilization is needed to lay siege to Kharkiv in the East of Ukraine.
March 22, 2024


Four unnamed sources from the Russian President’s administration and the Ministry of Defence told the news website Verstka that a new wave of mobilized troops could soon be sent to Ukraine. These soldiers will likely comprise reservists and existing conscripts who will be “cajoled” into signing new contracts once their current tour of duty ends. 

“Something is coming. Reservists are being recruited now, the same as before the last mobilization. Whether the mobilization will happen or not, I don’t know, but last time the procedure was the same,” an officer from one of the military units in the Zabaikal region, who trains mobilized people, told Verstka. 

One of the reasons why there is a need for such measures is the lack of volunteers signing up to fight. One of the military contract center employees in Moscow told Verstka that the number of those willing to go to war is plummeting:  

“Since October [2023], the flow of people has dropped sharply. Previously, several hundred came to our center per day, maybe 500–600. Not all of them, of course, signed [the contract], but nevertheless. Now 20–30 new ones arrive per day. Activity is declining…”

Besides reservists and current conscripts, other citizens could be mobilized as well. According to Verstka, lawyers and psychologists who used to deal with mobilisation cases are back working at the mayor’s office in Moscow, and various state enterprises are now filing paperwork to protect their employees from potential conscription. 

The high-ranking sources, including the one from the President’s administration, call all these preparations “Mobilization 2.0”. According to them, the aim is  to free up experienced military personnel for an upcoming attack on Kharkiv.

“The next one according to the plan is Kharkov [Kharkiv] with the preservation of the city. And this is only possible if it is surrounded. 300,000 grunts [“рыл”] are missing. Therefore, everything is ready for mobilization 2.0,” the source told Verstka. The source added that “nobody wants to turn Kharkov into a second Mariupol,” and the goal is to showcase that Russians “know how to fight in a civilized manner.”

Another source from within military circles similarly indicated that 300,000 people will need to be mobilized, and hinted towards a date of March 25. “Understand it how you want”, the source clarified. 

After the first mobilization in Russia was first announced on September 21, 2022, thousands of young men fled the country. Thousands more Russian women whose husbands have been sent to the war with Ukraine have recently started demanding the return of their loved ones home, for example by creating petitions, writing to lawmakers, and taking to the streets in protests.





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