The Russian government published the decree by Putin on Monday that calls for 135,000 men who are not already in the military or reserves.

Russia holds drafts twice a year, however, the 2022 spring draft has been announced ahead of the usual schedule. The Russian defense ministry says none of those called up would be sent to any “hot spots” including Ukraine.

Earlier in March, the defense ministry admitted that some conscripts had in fact been sent to Ukraine after Putin repeatedly denied that anyone other than professional soldiers and officers were being used.

Mikhail Benyash, a lawyer representing a group of Russia’s National Guard who refused orders to go to Ukraine, said under Russian law conscripts could be sent to fight anywhere after an initial training period of just a few months.

The move comes more than a month into a war with Ukraine that most believed Russia would win within days. Moscow continues to reel from the global fallout.

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