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No Need for New Call-Up to Replace Wagner, Lawmaker Says

Russian army recruits undergo training at the firing range. Ivan Noyabrev / TASS

There is no need for further mobilization in Russia to replace Wagner fighters who left the battlefield in Ukraine after their short-lived mutiny, Russian state media said on Monday, citing a senior lawmaker.

Last month, the head of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, led his forces in a rebellion against Russia's top military brass.

Prigozhin abandoned his advance on Moscow and struck a deal with the Kremlin under which he accepted exile in neighboring Belarus.

"There is no threat at all regarding a drop in the combat potential, both in the mid-term and long-term perspective," Andrey Kartapolov, head of the State Duma Defense Committee, was quoted as saying by the state-run TASS news agency.

"At the time of the [attempted] rebellion, there were no Wagner PMC employees at the forefront, they were all in camps," he added.

"As for replacing them [Wagner PMC] in the reserve, there is something and someone to replace them with."

In September, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a "partial" mobilization, the first military call-up in Russia since World War II.

Hundreds of thousands of men were drafted, while tens of thousands more fled abroad.

The week before Wagner's rebellion, Putin told reporters there was "no such need" for any additional mobilization.

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