Russia can call up all the troops it wants, but it can’t train or support them


Vladimir Poutine call all troops whatever he wants, but Russia has no way of providing these new troops with the training and weapons they need to fight in Ukraine anytime soon.

With his invasion of ukraine Unsteadily, the Russian president announced on Wednesday the immediate “partial mobilization” of Russian citizens. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told Russian television that the country would call up 300,000 reservists.

If they end up facing Ukrainian guns on the front lines, they will likely become the new victims of the invasion launched by Putin more than seven months ago which saw the Russian military fail in almost every aspect of modern warfare.

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

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

The recent Ukrainian offensive, which saw Kyiv reclaim thousands of square meters of the territory, took a heavy toll.

Earlier this week, the Institute for the Study of War said analyzes by Western experts and Ukrainian intelligence revealed that Russia had lost 50-90% of its personnel in some units due to this offensive and large amounts of armour.

And that’s on top of the staggering equipment losses during the war.

The open-source intelligence website Oryx, using only losses confirmed by photographic or video evidence, found that Russian forces had lost more than 6,300 vehicles, including 1,168 tanks, since the fighting began.

“In practice, they don’t have enough modern equipment…for so many new troops,” said Jakub Janovsky, a military analyst who contributes to the Oryx blog.

JT Crump, CEO of Sibylline and a 20-year veteran of the British Army, said Russia was beginning to suffer from ammunition shortages in certain calibers and was seeking sources of key components so it could repair or replace weapons lost on the ground. battlefield.

It was not just tanks and armored personnel carriers that were lost.

In many cases, Russian troops have not had the basics in Ukraine, including a clear definition of what they are risking their lives for.

Despite Wednesday’s mobilization order, Putin continues to call Ukraine a “special military operation”, not a war.

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

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

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

“I think people absolutely don’t want to go into a war they don’t understand. … People would be taken to jail if they called Russia’s war in Ukraine a war, and now suddenly they have to go in and fight without preparation, without weapons, without bulletproof vests, without helmets,” he said.

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

“Neither the additional officers nor the facilities necessary for mass mobilization currently exist in Russia,” said Trent Telenko, a former quality control auditor at the US Defense Contract Management Agency who has studied Russian logistics.

The 2008 reforms, aimed at modernizing and professionalizing the Russian military, removed many of the logistical and command and control structures that once allowed forces in the former Soviet Union to quickly train and equip a large number of conscripts mobilized.

Lord at Sibylline said it would take at least three months to round up, train and deploy Russian reservists.

“By then we will be in the depths of a Ukrainian winter,” Lord said. “As such, an influx of reservists is unlikely to have a serious impact on the battlefield until the spring of 2023 – and even then they are likely to be poorly trained and ill-equipped.”

Mark Hertling, a former US Army general and CNN analyst, said he saw firsthand how poor Russian training can be during visits to the country.

“It was awful… rudimentary first aid, very little simulation to conserve resources, and… most importantly… awful leadership,” Hertling wrote on Twitter.

“Placing ‘newcomers’ on a mutilated front line, with low morale and who do not want to be (there) portends further (Russian) disasters.

“Breathtaking,” Hertling tweeted.

Telenko said the newly mobilized troops would likely become the last victims of Putin’s war.

“Russia can draft organs. It cannot quickly train them, equip them and above all direct them.

“Unformed waves of 20 to 50 men with AK assault rifles and no radios will crumble in the first Ukrainian artillery or armor attack,” he said.

Hertling predicts ‘disastrous’ consequences to Putin’s latest move