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Putin ramps up forces with 150,000 Russians called up in highest-ever conscription drive amid fears of spring offensive

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VLADIMIR Putin has called up 150,000 Russian men to join the army, making it the highest-ever conscription drive in almost a decade.

The dictator seems to be ramping up his force to prepare for a feared spring offensive against Ukraine amid wavering Western support for Kyiv.

Putin has signed a decree set out to enlist 150,000 citizens for compulsory military service

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Putin has signed a decree set out to enlist 150,000 citizens for compulsory military serviceCredit: East2West
The despot will use the fresh recruits to fuel his illegal war against Ukraine

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The despot will use the fresh recruits to fuel his illegal war against UkraineCredit: East2West
The forced recruits are expected to be sent to the frontlines in warzone

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The forced recruits are expected to be sent to the frontlines in warzoneCredit: East2West
Putin is feared to launch his biggest ground offensive against Ukraine this spring

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Putin is feared to launch his biggest ground offensive against Ukraine this springCredit: AP

The despot signed a decree setting out the spring conscription campaign, calling up 150,000 citizens for compulsory military service.

These recruits, aged 18 to 30, will be conscripted between April and July to fuel his illegal war against Ukraine.

Previously, a desperate Putin raised the maximum age to join the army from 27 to 30 to compensate for Russian war losses.

Pravda Gerashchenko, an influential Russian Telegram channel, said: “It is possible to achieve such a quantity of fresh ‘cannon fodder’ thanks to an amendment to raise the conscription age.

“Russians aged 18 to 30 will serve.”

Russia has promised that those forcibly enlisted for the compulsory one-year military service will not be sent to the warzone in Ukraine.

However, such vows have previously been broken with forced conscripts being sent to the frontlines.

These fresh recruits could also be sent to Russian zones under heavy Ukrainian attack such as Belgorod and Kursk.

And they are often forced to sign contracts as full-scale soldiers against their will, only to be sent to such slaughterhouses.

The highest-ever conscription drive comes as Putin is expected to launch his feared spring military offensive against Ukraine in the coming months.

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Taking advantage of Ukraine’s shortage of weapons and wavering support from the West, Putin could seek to play his endgame and win the illegal war as soon as July this year.

Putin’s call for fresh army recruits further strengthens his plans to defeat Ukraine and launch an attack against Nato.

A bombshell military report leaked in January revealed Putin’s step-by-step plan to bring the West to the brink of World War 3.

The secret files, obtained by Bild from Germany’s Ministry of Defence, laid out exactly how the Kremlin boss might be preparing for a hybrid attack on Nato as early as next winter and a full-blown war next summer.

It suggested that Moscow could be planning to launch a spring offensive against Ukraine to secure a victory in June, which would then be followed up with hybrid attacks on the West.

In the meantime, the Russian tyrant may plan to build up troops and missiles on Nato’s eastern flank, trying to antagonise the West and destabilise the Baltics.

Such a move would bring the West and Russia to the brink of war – and the report suggests Putin is gearing up an invasion for the summer of 2025.

Putin has also ramped up his nuclear threats against Nato as he warned any F-16 jets supplied by the West will be blown out of the sky.

The dictator vowed attacks on Nato airfields if Ukraine used them to launch the game-changing supersonic fighters against Russia.

F-16s are one of the prized Western weapons that Ukraine has been trying to seek for a long time.

Last year, the US gave the go-ahead for allies to send Ukraine the long-awaited F-16 warplanes to fight Russia in the skies.

Nato allies like Belgium, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands have all pledged to donate F-16s to Ukraine.

But Putin has warned that F-16s are “carriers of nuclear weapons” – and Russian forces would completely destroy them just like any other military equipment.

The unhinged dictator said: “If they put in F-16s – they are talking about it, they are training [Ukrainian] pilots, this will not change the situation on the battlefield.

“The F-16s are also carriers of nuclear weapons.

“And we will destroy their aircraft in the same way that we destroy their tanks, armoured vehicles and other equipment, including multiple rocket launchers.”

Putin even went on to say that he would target and attack any third country that launches these supersonic jets against Russia.

“Of course, if they are used from third-country airfields, they become a legitimate target for us, wherever they are,” he said.

“We will also have to take this into account when organising combat operations.”

Putin chairing a meeting with members of the Russian Security Council

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Putin chairing a meeting with members of the Russian Security CouncilCredit: EPA

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