Russia admits conscripts “taking part” in its invasion of Ukraine

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Russia’s army admitted on Wednesday for the first time that conscripts were taking part in its military assault on Ukraine, after President Vladimir Putin vowed only professional soldiers were there.

Since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, there have been widely circulated reports that young conscripts were involved in the military operation against its neighbor.

The Kremlin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said on Wednesday that Putin had instructed before the start of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine that conscripts be “categorically excluded,” but that he received reports of their presence in armed units operating on the ground, state news agency TASS reported.

Putin ordered the Chief Military Prosecutor's Office to “verify and legally assess the actions and punish officials responsible for failure to comply with this order,” Peskov added.

Meanwhile, Russian defense ministry spokesman, Igor Konashenkov, said some conscripts had been captured by Ukrainian forces.

“At the same time, one of the subdivisions performing logistic support tasks was attacked by a sabotage group of the national battalion. A number of servicemen, including conscripts, were captured,” state news agency Interfax cited him as saying.

“Currently, comprehensive measures are being taken to prevent the sending of conscripts to combat areas and the release of captured servicemen,” he added.

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