Russia warns US over sending Patriot missiles to Ukraine

A Ukrainian military official says Russia is likely to turn to the diaspora to bolster mobilization

Brigadier General Oleksiy Khromov, deputy head of the Ukrainian military’s Main Operations Directorate, said Thursday that Russia is increasing ammunition production and may be accelerating its mobilization with the diaspora.

Hromov said that Russia is increasing ammunition “lowering the quality of products and triggering the termination of agreements with other countries.”

He said Russia would attract large numbers of migrants from Central Asia to bolster its mobilization.

“Dual citizens can perform military service in Russia during peacetime. These changes are primarily aimed at attracting migrant workers who are already in Russia to military service,” he said.
Hromov estimates that about 2.7 million of the immigrants to Russia — the majority from Central Asia — were men of military age.

Some background: In November, Russia announced that it had completed a “partial mobilization” of hundreds of thousands of citizens to fight its war against Ukraine. The mobilization, first announced at the end of September, sparked protests – particularly in ethnic minority areas – and an exodus of men from the country.

Khromov also said that the presence of the Russian military in Belarus is increasing.

“Russian units of the 2nd Motorized Rifle Division … are receiving combat training and integration. … using the Belarusian infrastructure of Kremlin officials and training grounds, restoring the combat capability of existing units, as well as enough to train newly formed military units,” he said.

Khromov said Russian tanks and aircraft were moved to Belarus to provide another avenue for Russian missile attacks.

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“The enemy redeployed three Mig 31-K aircraft carrying Kinzel hypersonic missiles and A-50U long-range radar detection aircraft to Machulichy airfield. This indicates an increase in the aggressor’s ability to carry out airstrikes on the territory of Ukraine,” he said.

Belarus’ role in the conflict: Neighboring Belarus is one of Moscow’s staunchest allies, and the two countries have held joint military exercises since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Belarus serves as a base for Russian forces near Ukraine’s northern border. It was the starting point of the Kremlin’s unsuccessful march at the start of the invasion.

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