Moscow, Ukrainian officials say, is marshaling its second draft, despite the Kremlin denying the claim, Newsweek reported.
"Measures of covert mobilization to the ranks of the Russian occupying forces are ongoing," in the Crimean peninsula, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian military officials claim the meeting took place Saturday in Simferopol, the second-largest city in Crimea.
"The main issue of this meeting," they say, "was the non-fulfillment of the determined quantitative indicators of mobilization."
But, according to the Russian state-run news agency TASS, when Dmitry Peskov was asked if Moscow was preparing a second draft, the Kremlin spokesman said, "there are no discussions about that."
However, he later qualified, "I cannot speak for the Ministry of Defense."
Still, Friday, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said the mobilization was likely. The think tank cited discussions from Russian social media. One instance indicated a draft summons allegedly received by a St. Petersburg resident.
"Another wave of mobilization in the coming months will only worsen the situation and likely degrade the overall quality of the Russian troops that will be funneled to the frontline in Ukraine," the ISW wrote in its daily update.
As Newsweek notes, politicians opposed to Russia have claimed a formal announcement of a second draft is expected in January, but summons for conscription are being sent out before the end of the year to prevent a mass exodus of draft dodgers.
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