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Zelensky: Russian leadership preparing to take up to 1 mln people into army

KYIV. Sept 23 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Some 300,000 conscription letters for those mobilized in Russia were printed in advance, but the Russian leadership is preparing to take up to 1 million people into the army, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video message on Thursday evening.

“Protests against mobilization took place in the cities of Russia – albeit not massive, but they took place. And they take place. And this is an indicator. Not only in Moscow and St. Petersburg. We know the real mood in the regions of Russia. We see that people in Dagestan, in Buryatia, in other national republics and regions of Russia understand that they were simply thrown. Thrown to death. Why, for example, Dagestanis or anyone else should die in Kharkiv region or near Donetsk? Because one person in Russia decided so – for all the citizens of Russia,” the president said.

He called Russians “accomplices in all these crimes, murders and torture of Ukrainians.” “Because you were silent. Because you are silent,” the president noted.

Now, according to him, is the time of choice. “For men in Russia, this is a choice to die or live, to become a cripple or to preserve health. For women in Russia, the choice is to lose their husbands, sons, grandchildren forever, or still try to protect them from death, from war, from one person,” Zelensky said.

“We know that they will take everyone indiscriminately. Not only the military in the reserve, but any men,” he said.

He recalled that “55,000 Russian soldiers died in this war in six months. Tens of thousands are wounded and maimed.”

“Want more? No? Then protest. Fight back. Run away. Or surrender to Ukrainian captivity. These are options for you to survive,” Zelensky said.

“Russian mothers! Have no doubt that the children of the top officials of your state will not be sent to the war against Ukraine. Those who make decisions in your country take care of their children. And they do not even bury your children. And we return ours,” he said.