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Ukraine intel: Russia has over 400,000 troops deployed in Ukraine

Russia has amassed over 400,000 troops in Ukraine, says a Ukrainian military intelligence official. Russia continues mobilization and has lots of weapons, but it is not expected to repeat the February 2022 massive invasion.
Soldiers Russian mobilization
Mobilized Russians. File photo: TASS
Ukraine intel: Russia has over 400,000 troops deployed in Ukraine

Russia has concentrated more than 400,000 soldiers on the territory of Ukraine, a representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Andriy Yusov, told the Kyiv TV channel, according to the Ukrainian Service of the RFE/RL.

Yusov emphasized that in addition to the hundreds of thousands of troops, Russia has also amassed large amounts of weaponry inside Ukraine.

“New weapons are being demothballed and supplied to the front,” he remarked.

The intelligence representative indicated Russia’s mobilization has been ongoing, spanning throughout the summer months.

“We are not talking about a repeat of the scenario that was in February 2022. But in some areas – yes, the enemy will continue to try to carry out individual offensive operations,” Yusov said.

While the troop numbers could not be independently verified, Yusov dismissed the possibility of another large-scale offensive but maintained that Russia has the manpower to conduct assaults on limited areas along the front.

“Forces are sufficient for individual operations in individual areas of the front. And the grouping of the occupiers in Ukraine in the temporarily occupied territories, we recall, is over 400,000 Russian servicemen. And, of course, this is a considerable number of personnel,” he stated.

Drafting underway, but no large-scale mobilization expected

ISW analysts have previously warned that the costs of the war are fueling discontent within Russia itself. As such, the Kremlin may be wary of taking actions that could further diminish domestic support for the invasion.

Ukrainian military intelligence agency has previously reported that the Kremlin continued to conduct “covert mobilization,” with 90,000 to 100,000 Russians already drafted in 2023 to replenish losses and create new units. However, there might not be a “large-scale” mobilization in Russia, according to the intelligence.

With Russia’s presidential election just five months away, it appears “highly unlikely” that the Kremlin will initiate additional mobilization measures before voters go to the polls in March 2024, as per British intelligence.

In September, a Ukrainian intelligence official claimed that Russia was secretly mobilizing around 20,000 people a month for its war against Ukraine through various coercive means, including recruiting prisoners into contracts, forced conscription of debtors, and “unreliable populations.” The “secret mobilization” was ongoing in parallel with routine conscription and widespread practices of the “forced contract signing,” with former servicemen summoned to military offices under threat of criminal prosecution if they refused to sign a contract, the official claimed.

At the same time, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces stated in early September that Russia was preparing to announce a large-scale mobilization due to heavy losses suffered on the frontlines, with the mobilization held both in Russia and the occupied territories of Ukraine. Various estimates suggest mobilizing between 400,000 to 700,000 people, according to the General Staff.

The same month, a former Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, claimed that around 280,000 people had enlisted in Russia’s military as professional service members in 2023. Any independent sources did not confirm the figure.

Meanwhile, Russia’s proposed budget for 2024 allots around 68% more funds for defense purposes than this year’s budget, which puts the country’s defense spending for 2024 at around 6% of GDP, according to UK intelligence.

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