Kremlin: no discussion of mobilisation after military setbacks in Ukraine

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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov attends a joint news conference of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in Moscow, Russia February 18, 2022. Sputnik/Sergey Guneev/Kremlin via REUTERS

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MOSCOW, Sept 13 (Reuters) – The Kremlin said on Tuesday there was no discussion of a nationwide mobilisation to bolster the country’s military campaign in Ukraine, days after a surprise Ukrainian offensive drove Russia out of almost all of Kharkiv region.

Asked about a calls for mobilisation by a member of the Russian parliament, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: “At the moment no, there is no discussion of this.”

Asked about criticism of the country’s leadership online by nationalist commentators who have demanded mobilisation, Peskov said it was an example of “pluralism” and that Russians as a whole continue to support President Vladimir Putin.

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“Russians support the president, and this is confirmed by the mood of the people … The people are consolidated around the decisions of the head of state,” he said.

“As for other points of view, critical points of view, as long as they remain within the law, this is pluralism, but the line is very, very thin, one must be very careful here”, he added.

Military commentators ordinarily supportive of the campaign reacted with fury after Russia’s Defence Ministry on Saturday said it was abandoning Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region in a “regrouping” after the lightning counteroffensive last week. Many suggested that only a full-scale nationwide mobilisation could rectify the situation.

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Reporting by Reuters; editing by Guy Faulconbridge

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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