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Russian TV Hears Call To Prepare Children To Fight: 'This Is World War III'

Newsweek 1/10/2023 Isabel van Brugen
Russian cadets march during the annual cadet schools get-together in Moscow on March 30, 2018. Russian schoolchildren should be trained to fight in case they need to go to war, a guest on state TV has said. © MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images Russian cadets march during the annual cadet schools get-together in Moscow on March 30, 2018. Russian schoolchildren should be trained to fight in case they need to go to war, a guest on state TV has said.

Schoolchildren should be trained to fight in case they need to go to war, a guest on Russian state TV has said.

An excerpt from the 60 Minutes program was shared on Twitter on Monday by Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine's minister of internal affairs.

"Propagandists are saying a new wave of mobilization in Russia should have begun yesterday, and schoolchildren also need to be trained to fight in case they need to go to war," Gerashchenko tweeted.

In the 36-second clip, first broadcast on Russian state television channel "Rossia," the guest made references to Ukrainian claims that Russia is preparing for a second wave of mobilization.

On September 21, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the mobilization of 300,000 reservists to fight in Ukraine. The Kremlin said on October 31 that the partial mobilization had ended.

Kyrylo Budanov, chief of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, told the BBC on December 29 that Russia began a second wave of mobilization on January 5 because of a lack of manpower in the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The Kremlin has dismissed such claims.

"Somebody is panicking about another wave of mobilization," the unnamed guest on 60 Minutes said. "In fact, I will tell you frankly, the wave of mobilization should have been yesterday."

He even suggested that schoolchildren must be prepared.

"We have to prepare our population in schools and everywhere else for the fact that we will all have to stand in the same line in case of such events. That is, we don't have to look around thinking we are going to say something scary," he continued, according to a translation accompanying the clip.

The guest, who is wearing military uniform and appears to be speaking from Popasna in the Russian-occupied Donbas region of Ukraine added: "This is World War III. We have to be ready for it."

After Putin announced a "partial" military mobilization, his defense minister Sergei Shoigu said Russia would be targeting 300,000 reservists and ex-military personnel with "certain military specialties and relevant experience."

However, the figure in Putin's decree has not been disclosed to the public, and a U.S. think tank, the Institute for the Study of War, has assessed that Russia is "covertly" mobilizing troops.

Budanov claimed in his interview with the BBC that Russia "decided to start another wave of mobilization from January 5."

"I do not know if they will announce it specifically on the 5th. However, 5 January is when they planned it for," he continued.

"They will have to start a new wave of mobilization, even considering the fact that the past mobilization, which supposedly ended, did not stop, and people are being mobilized in full swing."

Newsweek reached out to the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment.

Do you have a tip on a world news story that Newsweek should be covering? Do you have a question about the Russia-Ukraine war? Let us know via worldnews@newsweek.com.

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