The Russian media has spread a new propaganda thesis, according to which Kyiv is conscripting one million people into its army, being forced by the West to sacrifice its own population in exchange for the supplies it receives. In fact, Kyiv authorities ordered no such mobilization. They merely called for assistance in order to support its security forces, which total one million people.
NEWS: The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of Luhansk (LNR) in Russia, Rodion Miroshnik, wrote on his Telegram account about Ukraine’s plans to mobilize one million people. Miroshnik tied Kyiv’s plan to conscript one million servicemen to the USA’s intention to provide Ukraine with 40 billion USD in assistance, as well as to the financial aid provided by the EU.
According to Miroshnik, considering that the United States and the United Kingdom are investing weapons, ammo and money in the crisis in Ukraine, Kyiv is forced to pay with human lives. “The United States and their allies have increased the volume of support. Kyiv must answer with one million soldiers!”, the LNR official said.
The Ambassador of LNR added that Ukrainian authorities show indifference regarding their own country, since they won’t be living there.
NARRATIVE: Kyiv is mobilizing one million soldiers, paying for the West’s loans with human lives.
WHY THE NARRATIVE IS FALSE: In fact, Ukraine never announced it would mobilize one million soldiers. The propaganda narrative draws on a deliberate misinterpretation of a statement made by Ukraine’s Minister of Defense, Oleksy Reznikov, who said that the Ukrainian army needs support, military equipment, food and others. “It’s important to meet the needs of the one million people who are fighting the enemy”, the Ukrainian Defense Minister said.
Minister Reznikov didn’t refer to mobilization, but merely spoke about the high costs entailed by the army. In early May, Oleksy Reznikov said that over a million people are already working in Ukraine’s defense and security sector. The Ukrainian official explained this number includes all employees, the volunteers and collaborators of Ukraine’s armed forces, territorial defense units, the Police, the National Guard, the Security Service and so on. Given the large number of people involved in the war effort, Kyiv is facing certain challenges in terms of providing the army with its basic needs (helmets, bulletproof vests, clothes, etc.)
Therefore, the narrative promoted by the Russian media, according to which Ukraine is expected to mobilize one million servicemen in response to Western financial assistance is false. On the contrary, Kyiv has called on the West to support the well-functioning of its defense forces, which were mobilized on February 24, in response to the war launched by Russia.
The Russian media claims that “Ukrainian authorities show indifference regarding their own country, since they won’t be living there”. This assumption lacks any argument or evidence. On the contrary, it is disproved by the reality on the ground – even when Kyiv was under threat, the Ukrainian leadership refused to flee the city or the country, despite being directly targeted by Russian forces.