200,000 people mobilized in 2 weeks: Russia MoD
The Russian armed forces have gained an additional 200,000 soldiers, with a fifth of a million mobilized in only two weeks.
More than 200,000 have been mobilized in the past two weeks as part of the country's partial mobilization decree signed into action on September 21, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Tuesday.
"To date, more than 200,000 people joined the Armed Forces," he explained. The recruits will receive the uniform and other necessary equipment and will be assigned to military positions.
"The training of the personnel of formed units is carried out in 80 polygons and six educational centers," he added.
He also called on those in charge not to reject the applications of volunteers arriving at the recruitment offices.
"It is extremely important to pay attention to each request and not reject anyone without valid reasoning," he stressed.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed two weeks ago into law a decree on the partial mobilization of Russia's reservists, which will include 300,000 people, the Russian Ministry of Defense said.
The third of a million soldiers is a little more than 1% of Russia's available manpower, which Moscow said was necessary for controlling the liberated territories in the Donbass and the line of contact around a mile away.
The territories have become part of the Russian Federation just this past week after President Vladimir Putin signed a document declaring them Russian territories following popular referenda that saw the overwhelming majority of their citizens voting in favor of becoming parts of Russia.
The referenda were held in the liberated Lugansk People's Republic (LPR), Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), Kherson, and Zaporozhye.
Putin announced that the people living in the DPR, LPR, Kherson, and Zaparozhye "have become [Russian] citizens forever. I want people in Kiev and their real owners to listen to me; we call on Kiev to enter an immediate ceasefire to end the war they initiated back in 2014."
Putin announced Russia's formal recognition of the independence of the DPR and LPR in late February. This led to Ukraine escalating against the republics and using various tactics to try and undermine their leadership and harm their civilians.
The President promised to protect Russia's territories, by all means, saying Moscow would rebuild all the leveled cities and towns and back the industrial sector, develop enterprises, upgrade the infrastructure, and introduce healthcare systems.
The mobilization comes in a time of withdrawals for Russian forces, as Russian and allied armed forces have withdrawn from the town of Lyman, also known as Krasnyi Lyman, in the northern part of the DPR, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday, noting that the withdrawing forces regrouped at locations that are much more favorable for them due to a there being a risk that they could be encircled.
Russia announced in early September that its forces were withdrawing from the Kharkov region that lies on the eastern front after the army had the region under its control for months.
The withdrawal from Kharkov to Donetsk, Moscow explained, was carried out over the course of a three-day operation conducted to minimize Russian losses. However, the leader of the Donetsk People's Republic, Denis Pushilin, said there was fierce fighting between the Russian and Ukrainian forces in the DPR.