Ukraine says Russia may soon launch big mobilisation drive

Russian reservists attend a ceremony before deployment to military units, in Rostov region

KYIV (Reuters) - Ukraine's military said on Monday Russia could launch a big mobilisation campaign soon to try to recruit hundreds of thousands of soldiers from inside Russia and occupied Ukraine.

The Ukrainian General Staff provided no evidence in a statement to support its assertion. Russian officials have said there are no current plans for a new wave of mobilisation and that Moscow is focused on recruiting professional soldiers.

"A mass forced mobilisation of the population is expected soon in the Russian Federation and temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine due to the occupiers' catastrophic losses," the General Staff said in a battlefield roundup.

The mobilisation campaign could target between 400,000 and 700,000 recruits, it said, citing different estimates.

It said the number of Russians recruited in Moscow and St Petersburg would remain "minimal", while Russians would be drawn heavily from the regions outside the two big Russian cities.

The General Staff issued its statement days after a senior Ukrainian military spy official said there were 420,000 Russian servicemen currently inside Ukraine.

Russia and Ukraine both treat their losses on the battlefield as a state secret.

Last month, the New York Times cited unnamed U.S. officials who said nearly 500,000 Ukrainian and Russian troops had been killed or wounded in the war since Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022.

(Reporting by Tom Balmforth, Editing by Timothy Heritage)