(CNN) — Russia will call up 300,000 reservists as part of its partial mobilization of the population, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Russian television on Wednesday morning.
“These are not people who have never heard of the military,” Shoigu said. “These are the ones who have served, have a military record specialty, have had military experience.”
He also reiterated that no conscripts (those serving compulsory military service, not those in the reserves) would be sent to “the zone of a special military operation,” as the Russian government refers to its war in Ukraine. (The Defense Ministry has admitted in the past that Russian conscripts have been sent to fight in Ukraine by mistake.)
“This is not a mobilization of university students and there will be none under any circumstances. No one will call them,” Shoigu said.
“Like those in compulsory military service, they are not subject to being sent to the special military operation zone; our conscripts continue to serve on the territory of the Russian Federation.”
Putin’s speech appears to contradict previous stance on reservists
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Wednesday announcement of a partial mobilization of reservists appears to contradict his claim earlier this year that no more reservists would be called up.
Putin said on Wednesday that “partial mobilization” would apply “only to those citizens who are in the reserve and, above all, those who served in the armed forces, have certain military specialties and relevant experience.”
However, during a televised speech in March, Putin had said that “there will be no additional call-ups for reservists.”