Scenes of panic in Russia following news that President Vladimir Putin will mobilize military reservists have prompted a cheering response from Ukrainian soldiers, according to one frontline volunteer.
Former company boss Seva Koshel spoke on the latest edition of Sky News’ Ukrainian War Diaries podcast about the move from Moscow, which has caused some Russians to try to leave the country.
“Putin has stated that they will mobilize around 300,000 people,” he says.
“And I would say that in Ukraine we are not concerned about that … but we are quite happy because it means that our armed forces in Ukraine have just struck [the backside] Russian army.
“So when we read some Russian news from the Telegram channels, all my friends just laughed because it caused so much panic in Russia. Everyone was Googling how to escape the country, how to avoid mobilization.”
The mobilization order follows nearly seven months of war. In recent weeks, Ukraine says it has liberated significant territory in the eastern Donbass region, where some of the worst fighting has taken place.
According to Seva, the Kremlin’s latest directive serves as a sobering reminder of reality for those in Russia.
“All this blah, blah, blah, when they were talking [about] how big they are, how big they are, how they want to win us over… when it comes to real life… not just watching it on TV but actually being part of the army… then they don’t want to die.
“I really want, from the bottom of my heart, to live … this is war. For them, this war was only on television, the war of huge, democratic, friendly Russia, against Nazi Ukraine.
“We’re waiting for those 300,000.”
From the creators of Sky News’ award-winning StoryCast series, Ukrainian War Diaries is a weekly podcast that follows those living on the new European front and those who have escaped it.
Producer: Robert Mulhern
Digital promotion and additional writing: David Chipakupaku