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Russian state TV guest says country needs 4 million more troops

A Russian state TV guest insisted the country needed at least 4 million more troops to win its war in Ukraine.

Aleksey Zhuravlyov, chairman of the ultra-nationalist Rodina party which supports President Vladimir Putin, made the comments during a chat on Russia’s state-approved Channel 1.

Zhuravlyov said in a May 21 tweet shared by the @wartranslated Twitter account: “I was saying at the end of last year that it was necessary. And I am now saying that it is necessary. Say what you want, but it’s true.

“You see, it’s impossible that they [Ukrainians] mobilize everyone. A million, two, three. He’s not a person, he’s an armed person, on the front line.”

A photo of Russian soldiers in Moscow, Russia. The propagandist insisted that Russia needed more soldiers to defeat Ukraine.

He continued: “It’s impossible to go with 400-500,000 people where 3-4 million are needed. You can say what you want, but it’s true.

“People need rest, rotation, re-equipment etc. These are facts, if you don’t want it let’s make a volunteer army, I’m in too. Not scattered volunteer units to plug the holes from the front line, but a whole army.”

Since being shared on Sunday, May 21, the clip has garnered around 46,100 views on Twitter.

Zhuravlyov’s comments come as the Ukrainian town of Bakhmut has been taken by Russian forces.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner mercenary group, said his troops had secured the town in the Donetsk region.

He claimed Russian troops had gained full control of the town which was destroyed after months of relentless fighting.

On Saturday, Prigozhin said on his Telegram channel: “At noon on May 20, 2023, Bakhmut was completely taken. We completely took the whole city, from house to house.”

But there has been confusion over whether Bakhmut is indeed under full Russian control, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared to offer mixed messages about his situation.

Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar wrote on Telegram on Saturday that the situation in Bakhmut was “critical”.

Newsweek was unable to verify whether Russia took full control of Bakhmut.

At a press conference at the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, on Sunday, Zelensky said the Ukrainian army was still in Bakhmut.

Zelensky had earlier told the media: “There is nothing, they [Russia] everything destroyed. Balhmut is only in our hearts.”

Zelensky’s press secretary then insisted that the Ukrainian leader had refuted the claim that Russia had captured the city. The press secretary added: “In this way, the president denied the capture of Bakhmut.”

Newsweek contacted the Kremlin for comment via email.


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