December 10, 2023

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Putin says farmers among Russians have been drafted into the army

Putin says farmers among Russians have been drafted into the army
  • This content was produced in Russia where coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine is restricted by law

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with officials on Tuesday that farmers are among the Russians being drafted into the army, indicating further potential risks to the 2023 crop.

Russia is the largest wheat exporter in the world. Autumn is a busy season for farmers as they plant winter wheat for next year’s crop and harvest soybeans and sunflower seeds. The sowing of winter grain has already been significantly delayed due to the rains.

“I would also like to address the heads of districts and heads of agricultural enterprises. As part of the partial mobilization, agricultural workers are also being recruited. Their families must be supported. I ask you to pay special attention to this issue,” Putin told the televised meeting.

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Wednesday’s announcement of Russia’s first general mobilization since World War II, amid what Moscow calls its own military operation in Ukraine, has sparked a rush of qualified men to the border and unease among the general population.

Officials said an additional 300,000 Russians would be called up to work as part of the mobilization campaign. Some regions bordering Ukraine in the southern and central part of Russia, such as the Kursk region, are major grain producers.

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Putin also told the meeting that Russia is on track to reap a record grain harvest of 150 million tons, including 100 million tons of wheat, in 2022.

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Reporting by Paulina Devitt. Editing by David Evans

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.