The Kremlin said on Tuesday that despite Ukraine’s gains in the northeastern Kharkiv region, there are no plans for a mobilization, which would involve a nationwide draft.
“At this moment — no, it is not on the agenda,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said when asked if the government was considering a full or partial mobilization, according to the Russian news agency TASS.
Russia has made efforts to increase its military amid the fighting in Ukraine but hasn’t ordered a full mobilization. Russian President Vladimir Putin has framed his invasion as a “special military operation” as opposed to a full-scale war.
When Russia first launched its invasion on February 24, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared martial law and mobilized for war. His orders included barring male citizens between the ages of 18 and 60 from leaving Ukraine.
In the wake of Ukraine’s gains in Kharkiv, Putin is now under pressure to escalate, and there are growing calls inside Russia for mobilization.
Mikhail Sheremet, a State Duma deputy from the ruling United Russia party, made the call on Monday. The following day, Gennady Zyuganov, the leader of Russia’s Communist Party, said Russia needed “maximum mobilization” to win a war he said was against the US and NATO.
Russia signaled a potential escalation in the war on Sunday when it launched strikes on Ukrainian electricity infrastructure. But so far, there are no signs of a mobilization.
Putin’s government has not said much about Ukraine’s gains in Kharkiv, and the Russian military says it’s focusing on fighting in the Donbas. The US is happy with Ukraine’s Kharkiv offensive, but officials have cautioned against celebrating the success too early.