Russia is likely to turn to migrants to bolster mobilization, says Ukrainian military official
Brigadier General Oleksiy Hromov, deputy head of the Ukrainian military’s Main Operational Directorate, said on Thursday that Russia is ramping up ammunition production and is likely to step up its mobilization with migrants.
Hromov said that Russia is increasing ammunition “reducing the quality of products, as well as triggering the conclusion of agreements with other countries.”
He said that Russia would likely draw on the large number of migrants from Central Asia to shore up its mobilization.
“Dual nationals can perform military service in Russia in peacetime. These changes are primarily aimed at attracting migrant workers who remain in Russia to military service,” he said.
Hromov estimates that some 2.7 million of all emigrants to Russia – the vast majority from Central Asia – are men of military age.
Some background: In November, Russia announced that it had completed the “partial mobilization” of hundreds of thousands of citizens to fight the war against Ukraine. The mobilization, first announced at the end of September, sparked protests – especially in ethnic minority regions – and an exodus of men from the country.
Hromov also stated that the Russian military presence has been increasing in Belarus.
“Russian units of the 2nd Motorized Rifle Division … are receiving combat training and coordination. … The Kremlin uses Belarusian infrastructure of officers and training grounds to restore the combat capability of existing units, as well enough to train newly created military units,” he said.
Hromov said Russian tanks and planes had been moved to Belarus, probably to provide Russia with another route for its missile strikes.
“The enemy redeployed to the Machulychi airfield three Mig 31-K aircraft, carrying Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, as well as an A-50U long-range radar detection aircraft. This indicates an increase in the aggressor’s capabilities to take carry out air strikes on the territory of Ukraine,” he said.
The role of Belarus in the conflict: neighboring Belarus is one of Moscow’s staunchest allies, and the two nations have conducted joint military exercises since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Belarus has served as a base for Russian forces near the northern border of Ukraine. It was the starting point of the Kremlin’s unsuccessful march on Kyiv at the start of the invasion.