Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, stated on Friday that he anticipates his call-up of army reservists for combat in Ukraine to be finished in about two weeks.
This will allow him to end an unpopular and chaotic call-up to thwart Ukrainian military victories and solidify his illegitimate annexation of occupied territory.
Putin also told reporters that he does not regret starting the conflict and “did not set out to destroy Ukraine” when he ordered Russian troops to invade nearly eight months ago.
However, Putin is facing domestic unrest and military setbacks in a neighboring country armed with increasingly sophisticated Western weapons.
“What is happening today is unpleasant, to put it mildly,” Putin said.
“But we would have had all this a little later, only under worse conditions for us. So my actions are correct and timely,” Putin added.
One of the four Ukrainian districts that Putin erroneously claimed as Russian territory last month has shown Russia’s struggles in attaining its military objectives.
Authorities in the Kherson region placed by Moscow warned citizens to leave on Friday as they anticipated an approach by the Ukrainian military.
Pressure on Putin to do more to tip the scales in Russia’s favor has increased due to criticism of the Kremlin’s management of the war and mobilization from even some of Putin’s supporters.
In his remarks regarding the army’s mobilization, Putin claimed that 222,000 of the 300,000 reservists the Russian Defense Ministry had set as an initial goal had been registered due to the action he had ordered last month.
He claimed that out of the 33,000 who had enlisted, 16,000 had been sent into combat.
Putin ordered the call-up to support the battle along a 1,100 km (684 miles) front line where Ukrainian counteroffensives have damaged Moscow’s military reputation.
In a nation where practically all men under the age of 65 are enrolled as reservists, there was a misunderstanding over who was eligible for the draft from the beginning of the mobilization.
Tens of thousands of men left Russia protesting the decree, and others demonstrated in the streets due to the intense opposition.
Critics questioned if the document would be completed in two weeks.
During Russia’s annual fall draft for men aged 18 to 27, postponed from October 1 to November 1, they forecast a pause to allow recruitment offices to process normal conscripts.