Russia can call in all its troops, but it cannot train or support them

with him invasion of ukraine Trembling badly, the Russian president on Wednesday announced an immediate “partial mobilization” of Russian citizens. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Russian television that the country would call 300,000 reservists.

If they do face Ukrainian guns on the front lines, they are likely to be the newest casualties in an offensive launched more than seven months ago by Putin and that saw Russian forces fail in almost every aspect of modern warfare. Is.

“The Russian military is currently not equipped to rapidly and effectively deploy 300,000 reservists,” said Alex Lord, Europe and Eurasia specialist at the Sibylline strategic analysis firm in London.

“Russia is already struggling to effectively equip its professional forces in Ukraine, following significant equipment losses during the war,” Lord said.

Recent Ukrainian invasion, which has seen Kyiv Occupying thousands of square meters of the region, has taken a significant toll.

The Institute for the Study of War said earlier this week that analysis by Western experts and Ukrainian intelligence showed Russia had lost 50% to 90% of its strength in some units, and heavy amounts of armor. reason.

And this comes on top of staggering equipment losses during the war.

Using damages confirmed only by photographic or video evidence, the open source intelligence website Oryx, the Russian military has lost more than 6,300 vehicles, including 1,168 tanks, since the start of the fighting.

“Practically, they don’t have enough modern equipment … for many new soldiers,” said Jacob Janowski, a military analyst contributing to the Orix blog.

Russia announces immediate 'partial mobilization';  of civilians, intensifying their invasion of Ukraine

JT Crump, CEO of Sybilline and a veteran of 20 years in the British military, said Russia was facing a shortage of ammunition in certain calibers and was looking to source key components so that it could be on the battlefield. repair or replace lost weapons.

It’s not just tanks and armored personnel carriers that are lost.

In many cases, Russian soldiers did not have the basics in Ukraine, including a clear definition of what they risked their lives for.

Despite Wednesday’s mobilization order, Putin is still calling Ukraine a “special military operation”, not a war.

The soldiers of Ukraine know that they are fighting for their homeland. Many Russian soldiers have no idea why they are in Ukraine.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis noted on Wednesday Putin’s announcement of a partial mobilization as a “sign of desperation”.

A billboard promoting military service in St Petersburg on 20 September has the slogan,

“I think people certainly don’t want to go to a war they don’t understand. … People would be jailed for calling Russia’s war in Ukraine a war, and now all of a sudden they have to go in and without Fight without preparation, without weapons, without body armor, without helmets,” he said.

But even if they had all the equipment, weapons and motivation they need, it would be impossible to quickly train 300,000 soldiers for combat, experts said.

“Russia now has neither the additional officers nor the facilities necessary for large-scale mobilization,” said Trent Telenko, a former quality control auditor for the US Defense Contract Management Agency who has studied Russian logistics.

The reforms in 2008, aimed at modernizing and professionalizing the Russian military, removed many of the military and command and control structures that once enabled the armies of the old Soviet Union to rapidly train and equip the mobilized troops in large numbers. was enabled.

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Lord in Sybilline said it would take at least three months to assemble, train and deploy Russian reservists.

“At what time we will be in the depths of a Ukrainian winter,” said God. “As such, we are unlikely to see a serious impact of the influx of reservists on the battlefield until the spring of 2023 – and even then they are likely to be poorly trained and ill-trained.”

Mark Hartling, a former US Army general and CNN analyst, said he has seen firsthand how bad Russian training can be during visits to the country.

“It was terrifying… ruthless first aid, very few simulations to conserve resources, and… most important… terrible leadership,” Hartling wrote on Twitter.

“Putting ‘newbies’ on a front line, one who has been crushed, has low morale and one who does not want to be (there) shows greater (Russian) disaster.

“Jaw-dropping,” Hartling tweeted.

Telenko said the newly mobilized troops would likely be Putin’s latest casualties in the war.

“Russia can draft bodies. It cannot rapidly train, equip and most importantly lead them.

“Untrained waves of 20 to 50, AK few assault rifles and no radio people will not fall in the first Ukrainian artillery or armored attack,” he said.

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