Scenes of panic in Russia, following news that President Vladimir Putin is set to mobilise army reservists, has elicited a joyful response from Ukrainian troops, according one frontline volunteer.
Former company boss Seva Koshel has spoken about the move from Moscow, which saw some Russian men scrambling to leave the country, on the latest edition of Sky News’ Ukraine War Diaries podcast.
“Putin has declared that they will mobilise around 300,000 people,” he says.
“And I would say in Ukraine we are not worrying about that… but we are pretty satisfied because that means that our armed forces of Ukraine just kicked [the backside] of the Russian army.
“So, when we read some Russian news from Telegram channels, all my friends were just smiling because it’s caused such a big panic in Russia. They all Googled how to escape from the country, how to avoid mobilisation.”
The mobilisation order follows nearly seven months of a war. In recent weeks, Ukraine says it has liberated significant lands in the eastern Donbas region, where some of the heaviest fighting has taken place.
According to Seva, the latest directive from the Kremlin serves as a sobering reality-check for those in Russia.
“All this blah, blah, blah, when they were talking [about] how huge they are, how great they are, how they want to win over us… when it comes to real life… not just watching on TV, but really being part of the army… then they don’t want to die.
“I really want, from bottom of my heart, to live… this is war. For them, this war was just on TV, a war of the huge, democratic, nice Russia, against Nazi Ukraine.
“We await this 300,000.”
From the creators of Sky News’ award-winning series StoryCast, Ukraine War Diaries is a weekly podcast following those living on Europe’s new frontline, and those who have escaped it.
Producer: Robert Mulhern
Digital promotion and additional writing: David Chipakupaku