Conscripts sent to Ukraine: Russian defence ministry exposes Putin's lies
Russian defence ministry acknowledged some conscripts sent to Ukraine, Reuters reported
President Vladimir Putin earlier denied conscripts being sent to fight
A recent law in Russia gives up to 15 years jail for spreading fake news about its troops
The Russian defence ministry, on Wednesday, acknowledged that some conscripts were participating in the conflict with Ukraine, contradicting President Vladimir Putin's earlier claims that only professional soldiers and officers had been sent to "denazify" and "demilitarize" the country, Reuters reported.
According to the ministry, some of them, serving in supply units had been imprisoned by the Ukrainian army, since they entered the country on February 24.
The defence ministry said, "Unfortunately, we have discovered several facts of the presence of conscripts in units taking part in the special military operation in Ukraine. Practically all such soldiers have been pulled out to Russia", as per Reuters.
Meanwhile, RIA, the Russian state-run news agency, cited Putin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, saying that Putin ordered military prosecutors to investigate and punish officers who disobeyed his orders of excluding conscripts from the troops sent to Ukraine.
During a televised address on International Women's Day, March 8, Putin clearly said "Conscripted soldiers are not participating and will not participate in the fighting. There will not be an additional conscription of reservists either", and added, "The fixed objectives are only carried out by professional servicemen. I am sure they are guaranteeing security and peace for the Russian people in an effective manner".
The Russian defence ministry and President Putin seem to have two different versions about the involvement of conscripts in Russian operations in Ukraine. Notably, Russia has passed a law that gives up to 15 years in jail for spreading false news about the Russian military.
However, some associations of soldiers' mothers in Russia have raised their concerns since conscripts have gone incommunicado around the time Putin sent his troops into Ukraine. As per Reuters, there are suggestions that these individuals might have been sent to fight though they lacked adequate training. Up until now, this was denied by both Kremlin and the military authorities.