Day 566: Russia could begin mass conscription, draft up to 700,000 soldiers

Russia could soon announce mass conscription and draft up to 700,000 soldiers, Ukraine’s General Staff says. Russia has turned into a dictatorship, PACE concludes. A poll finds two-thirds of Ukrainians say that President Zelenskyi is responsible for corruption in the government and regional military administrations.

Russia could begin mass conscription, draft up to 700,000 soldiers, Ukraine’s General Staff says

Russia plans to soon draft between 400,000 and 700,000 soldiers in Russia and the occupied territories in Ukraine, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said in a morning report on September 11.

“Some related documents have been posted to the Internet. This time, [Russia] plans to also draft around 40,000 soldiers from Chechnya to deploy them as ‘barrier troops,’” the statement reads.

Russian authorities plan to once again call up a minimum of soldiers from Moscow and St. Petersburg, Ukraine’s General Staff added. 

“Ordinary citizens, residents of the Russian regions will be once again sent to the frontlines as ‘cannon fodder’. Kadyrov’s death squads will push them in the back. The only way for Russian troops to survive is to surrender,” the report says.

In a comment to RBC Ukraine, representative of the Main Intelligence Department of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, Major General Vadym Skibitskyi said that the Kremlin has continued secret conscription and has drafted between 90,000 and 100,000 soldiers this year. Yet a massive conscription could be avoided, he said.

“Will they openly announce conscription, like last autumn? Probably not. They’ve had the elections now, and will begin to prepare for the presidential elections to be held on March 17, 2024. No one wants to take risks ahead of campaigning after announcing conscription. It could possibly happen later,” Skibitskyi said.

Russia has turned into dictatorship, PACE concludes

The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) raised concerns over legitimacy and legality of amendments to the Russian Constitution made in July 2020.

These amendments, including the removal of presidential term limits, have allowed President Vladimir Putin to remain in office until 2036, when he will be 83 years old, PACE said.

“The overwhelming power of the President resulting from the extremely long term in office combined with the lack of any checks and balances such as a strong parliament, an independent judiciary, free media and a vibrant civil society has turned the Russian Federation into a de facto dictatorship,” the parliamentarians said,” the MPs said in a statement.

Unanimously approving a draft resolution, the committee recalled the findings of the Council of Europe Venice Commission that “a term limit waiver for the incumbent President violates both the Russian constitution and international legal principles.”

The Russian aggression against Ukraine and its aftermath demonstrate that dictatorships “constitute a threat to the international peace and security and to the territorial integrity and political independence of their neighbors.” “It is therefore in the interest first and foremost of the people of Russia, but also of Europe and the whole world that democracy be restored in Russia,” the committee concluded.

Poll finds two-thirds of Ukrainians say President Zelenskyi is responsible for corruption in government and regional military administrations

The Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KMIS) commented on the results of its opinion poll that saw 78 per cent of Ukrainians saying President Zelenskyi is responsible for corruption in the government and regional military administrations. 

The Ukrainian President got a record-high approval rating, the pollster said. “Responsibility” does not equal “complicity”, it added.

“When interpreting the results, many equated ‘responsibility’ with ‘complicity’, but it’s not like that,” KMIS said.

The poll also shows that Ukrainians want a strong leader willing to take decisive action. At the same time, the public demands anti-corruption measures, the survey finds.

The polling results reflect popular expectations of the president to act decisively against corruption, the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology explains. 

Zelenskyi’s job approval rating stands at 80-85 per cent. Only one-quarter of Ukrainians want a different President after Ukraine wins the war of aggression against Russia. The call on the President to fight against corruption does not undermine his support. The President’s approval rating could change in the long term, KMIS said. 

A majority of Ukrainians perceive corruption as widespread. The share of Ukrainians who believe that corruption is “very widespread” has declined from 63 per cent in 2021 to 43 per cent in 2023.

At the same time, the share of Ukrainians who say that the government fights corruption “somewhat effectively” grew from 25 per cent in 2021 to 50 per cent in 2023.

Russian propaganda targets Ukrainian refugees across borders. Ukraine in Flames #506

To destabilize European countries, russia wages a hybrid war that began before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Those aiding Ukraine are heavily targeted. Analysis of russian-speaking groups in the West reveals common narratives: hostility toward Ukrainian refugees, praise for russia’s refugee support, allegations of Ukrainian harm to civilians, and claims of preferential treatment for Ukrainian refugees. Watch Ukraine in flames #506 to find out about the Kremlin’s efforts to turn Western societies against Ukrainians and explain how russia is working to weaken the coalition supporting Ukraine and Western democracies in general.


  • Dmytro Zhmailo, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Ukrainian Security and Cooperation Center
  • Marianna Prysiazhniuk, Head of the Hybrid Warfare Analytical Group at Ukrainian Crisis Media Center