Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that there was no need for Moscow to conduct additional mobilization of reservists.
Putin said that more than 300,000 reservists were drafted in September and October, in what Russian authorities called “partial mobilization.”
150,000 of those drafted were deployed to the war on Ukraine, Putin said, adding that 77,000 were in combat units and the remainder performed defensive functions.
Also on Wednesday, Putin promised to deal with reports of insufficient equipment for Russian troops in Ukraine “as soon as possible,” Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported.
“Regarding the equipment issue, it seemed to me that everything had already been resolved,” Putin said. “We will definitely look into this as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile, Putin also said that Moscow would only ever use nuclear weapons in response to an enemy strike.
“When we are struck, we strike back,” Putin told a meeting of his human rights council.
Here are the other top headlines related to the war in Ukraine on Wednesday, December 7:
NATO says Russia trying to ‘freeze’ war before spring assault
Russia is looking to stall fighting in Ukraine over the winter in order to build up its forces for a renewed assault next year, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said.
Ukrainian forces have been pushing a counter-offensive in which they have made significant gains in the east and south, including Kyiv’s retaking of the city of Kherson.
“What we see now is that Russia is actually attempting to try to have some kind of freeze of this war, at least for a short period of time, so they can regroup, repair, recover and then try to launch a bigger offensive next spring,” Stoltenberg told a public event hosted by the Financial Times.
Stoltenberg said NATO members were continuing their “unprecedented” supply of arms and support to Ukraine despite concerns that the conflict is draining Western stockpiles.
NATO chief insisted the fundamental issue remained that Ukraine was fighting to protect itself as Moscow bombards civilian infrastructure in a bid to cut people off from electricity and heating over the winter. “Ukraine has the right to defend itself against these kinds of attacks,” he said.
Stoltenberg said conditions for a peaceful resolution of the conflict “are not there now because Russia has shown no sign of engaging in negotiations, which are respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine”.
German Patriot systems to be stationed in Poland
A German Defense Ministry spokesperson said that German Patriot air systems will be stationed in Poland.
The air defense system is meant to add a layer of security to Poland, which shares a border with Ukraine.
Kremlin says US defence budget “confrontational” towards Russia
The Kremlin said that a US military aid spending bill providing $800 million (€760 million) to Ukraine approved by US lawmakers on Tuesday was “confrontational” towards Russia.
In a call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “The document that has been adopted is of an extremely confrontational nature in relation to our country.”
The Fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, authorizes the additional spending for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, an increase of $500 million (€475 million) over US President Joe Biden’s request earlier this year.
It is expected to pass the Senate and House of Representatives this month, and be sent to the White House for Biden to sign into law.
441 civilians killed by Russian forces early in war — UN rights body
At least 441 civilians were killed by Russian forces early in the war, a report from the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) said.
The report documented summary executions and attacks in dozens of towns across the Kyiv, Chernihiv and Sumy regions.
The OHCHR said that the actual number is likely to be much higher.
“The acts in question were committed by Russian armed forces in control of these areas and led to the deaths of 441 civilians (341 men, 72 women, 20 boys and 8 girls),” the report said.
Russia bolstering defensive positions on Ukraine border — UK Defense Ministry
Russia has started extending its defensive positions along the country’s internationally-recognized border with Ukraine, the British Defense Ministry said in its latest intelligence update.
Trench digging has been reported in the Belgorod border region since at least April, but the new constructions are more elaborate and “designed to rebuff mechanized assault,” the ministry wrote on Twitter.
While this may in part be an effort to “burnish patriotic feeling” within Russia, the move probably shows that some Russian decision-makers believe “that there is a credible threat of invasion by Ukrainian forces,” the intelligence assessment added.
16 dead, including soldiers, in Donetsk road accident
At least 16 people have been killed in an accident involving a military truck in the Russian-controlled part of Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine.
Four others were injured, the Russian-appointed authorities said. The truck collided with a minibus between the towns of Shakhtarsk and Chystyakov. Russian soldiers are among the dead.
Fighting for months has raged around the frontline in Donetsk region, a mining and steel base, which Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed to have annexed despite not fully controlling it.
More DW coverage on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine led 2022 Google search trends in Germany, the tech giant has revealed.
Russian strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure have left hundreds of thousands of people without electricity or heating. How is Russia weaponizing winter in Ukraine?