Putin calls up 150,000 men amid spring offensive claims which could deliver knockout blow in Ukraine

31 March 2024, 16:33

Vladimir Putin has decreed that 150,000 people will be called up ahead of new push to make a breakthrough in Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin has decreed that 150,000 people will be called up ahead of new push to make a breakthrough in Ukraine. Picture: Alamy

By Chay Quinn

Vladimir Putin has decreed that 150,000 people will be called up ahead of new push to make a breakthrough in Ukraine.

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The routine spring conscription campaign will see 150,000 men called up for mandatory one-year military service.

Putin signed the declaration on Sunday as analysts warn he is preparing for a new push towards Kyiv.

All men from the age of 18 to 30 can be conscripted - but they cannot currently be sent to fight abroad.

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But fears of a spring offensive in the Ukraine war mean that Putin could conceivably use the force to deliver a knockout blow on the battlefield.

Law changes to bolster fighting numbers in the invasion have already been passed by the Kremlin - with the maximum conscription age raised from 27 to 30 last year.

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the Security Council via video conference at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 29, 2024. (Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the Security Council via video conference at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 29, 2024. (Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP). Picture: Alamy

It comes after Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk warned Europe has entered a "pre-war" era and is not ready for combat with Putin's forces.

Mr Tusk said war was "no longer a concept from the past" after Russia launched an invasion against Ukraine.

"It's real and it started over two years ago," Mr Tusk said.

It comes after Russia launched a huge attack against Ukraine's energy system on Thursday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has insisted that his country has "no aggressive intentions" towards Nato countries, though leaders across Europe have warned their counterparts to prepare for war.

Putin has insisted on a number of occasions that it is "nonsense" to suggest he would attack Poland or the Czech Republic - both of which are Nato members.

Military conscripts in Russia
The routine spring conscription campaign will see 150,000 men called up for mandatory one-year military service. Picture: Alamy

He has said, however, that Western F-16 warplanes used by Ukraine are "legitimate targets, wherever they might be located".

Mr Tusk's comments echo sentiments expressed by leaders across Europe, including French President Emmanuel Macron, who recently warned troops could be forced to join the war in Ukraine.

Speaking in February, Mr Macron said: “We will do everything needed so Russia cannot win the war.

"We should not exclude that there might be a need for security that then justifies some elements of deployment.

"But I've told you very clearly what France maintains as its position, which is a strategic ambiguity that I stand by."

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