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Putin says no need for new mobilisation for now, quips about trying again to take Kyiv


By Guy Faulconbridge and Vladimir Soldatkin

MOSCOW (Reuters) -President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that for now he saw no need for an additional mobilisation of men to fight in Ukraine but said it all depended on what Russia wanted to achieve there and he asked if Moscow’s forces should try to take Kyiv again.

“There is no such need today,” Putin told a televised meeting of Russian war correspondents and military bloggers when asked about another mobilisation after last year declaring what he cast as a “partial mobilisation” of 300,000 reservists.

Putin said the defence ministry saw no need for another wave of mobilisation.

“Some public figures say we need to get 1 million or two million,” Putin said. “It depends on what we want.”

“Should we return there?” Putin said of Kyiv, which Russian troops failed to take in the early stages of what Moscow calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Putin also said Russia needed to fight enemy agents and improve its defences against attacks deep inside its own territory but said there was no need to follow Ukraine’s example and declare martial law.

“There is no reason to introduce some kind of special regime or martial law in the country,” Putin said. “There is no need for such a thing today.”

Ukraine’s large-scale counter-offensive began on June 4 and has not been successful in any area, Putin said, adding that Ukrainian human losses were 10 times greater than Russia’s.

Ukraine has lost over 160 of its tanks and 25%-30% of the vehicles supplied from abroad, he, while Russia had lost 54 tanks.

Reuters could not independently verify his assertions.

Putin also said Ukraine had deliberately hit the Kakhovka dam on June 6 with HIMARS rockets supplied by the United States, a step he said had also hindered Kyiv’s counteroffensive efforts.

Russia’s goals in Ukraine might evolve with the situation, but their fundamental character will not change, Putin said.

(Reporting by ReutersEditing by Andrew Osborn and Gareth Jones)

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