Russia’s defence ministry has acknowledged that some conscripts have participated in the war in Ukraine days after Putin denied that was the case.
The ministry said that some of the conscripts had been taken prisoner by Ukrainian forces. But it claimed that “practically all” such individuals deployed to neighbouring Ukraine had now been pulled back to Russia.
All Russian men aged 18-27 must by law do a year’s military service, although there are some exceptions to that rule.
Putin said earlier this week that only professional soldiers and officers had been deployed as part of Moscow’s offensive.