Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement on an immediate partial mobilization comes as no surprise, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told German media outlet BILD.
The announcement shows that Russia has “problems with officers and other military personnel,” he said.
“We already know that they mobilized cadets — guys who couldn’t fight. These cadets have fallen. They couldn’t even finish their training. All these people can’t fight. They have come to us and are dying,” according to BILD’s account of the interview, which it translated into German. “He sees that his units are just running away. He needs an army of millions to come to us. Because he sees that a large part of those who come to us just run away.”
CNN translated BILD’s report.
“He wants to draw Ukraine in blood, but also in the blood of his own soldiers,” Zelensky added.
Zelensky said he had not seen Putin’s speech.
It was “not my favorite video,” he said, adding that the speech was “nothing new for me.”
BILD said Zelensky insisted that Ukraine’s plans to recover its territory would not be affected.
“We will act step by step according to our plans. I am sure we will liberate our territory,” he said, according to BILD.
He said the referendums planned by Kremlin-backed authorities later this week in occupied Ukrainian territories were a “sham” and that 90% of governments would not recognize them.
Zelesnky also told BILD that he doesn’t believe Putin will use nuclear weapons despite the Russian president’s thinly veiled warning earlier on Wednesday.
“I don’t believe he will use them. I don’t believe the world will allow him to use these weapons,” he said, adding that caveat that “we cannot look into this person’s head, there are risks.”