Vladimir Putin can summon all the troops he wants, but Russia has no way of giving these new teams the training and weapons they need to fight in Ukraine quickly.
The Russian president announced on Wednesday (21) the immediate “partial mobilization” of Russian citizens. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the country would call up 300,000 reservists.
But if they end up facing Ukrainian troops on the front lines, they will likely become the newest casualties in the war, which has lasted more than seven months and has shown the Russians to fail in almost every aspect of modern warfare.
“Russia’s armed forces are currently not equipped to quickly and effectively deploy 300,000 reservists,” said Alex Lord, a Europe and Eurasia expert at strategic analysis firm Sibylline in London.
“Russia is struggling to effectively equip its professional forces in Ukraine after significant equipment losses during the war,” he added.
The recent Ukrainian offensive, which reconquered thousands of square meters of territory, took a significant toll. The Institute for the Study of War reported earlier this week that Western and Ukrainian intelligence experts found that Russia had lost 50% to 90% of its strength in some units due to this offensive, as well as equipment.
The open-source intelligence website Oryx, using only 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,” noted Jakub Janovsky, a military analyst who contributes to the Oryx blog.
JT Crump, CEO of Sibylline and a 20-year veteran of the British military, pointed out that Russia is starting to experience a shortage of ammunition in some calibers and is looking for sources of key components so it can repair or build replacements for weapons lost in the field. of battle.
It’s not just tanks and armored vehicles that were destroyed. In many cases, Russian troops lacked the basics in Ukraine, including clear explanations as to why they were risking their lives.
Despite Wednesday’s mobilization order, Putin is still using the “special military operation” classification, not war.
Ukrainian soldiers know they are fighting for their homeland. Many of the street forces don’t know why they are in Ukraine.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis underscored this as well on Wednesday, calling the partial mobilization announcement “a sign of desperation”.
“I think people definitely don’t want to go to a war they don’t understand. They would be taken to prison if they called the conflict a war, and now, all of a sudden, they have to go in and fight unprepared, without weapons, without armor, 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 soldiers trained quickly for battle, experts said.
“Neither the extra officers nor the facilities needed for a mass mobilization now exist in Russia,” said Trent Telenko, a former quality assurance auditor at the US Defense Contract Management Agency who has studied Russian logistics.
Reforms in 2008, aimed at modernizing and professionalizing the Russian military, removed many of the logistical and command-and-control structures that had previously allowed former Soviet Union forces to rapidly train and equip large numbers of mobilized recruits.
Lord warned that it would take at least three months to gather, train and send Russian reservists to the battlefield.
“When that happens, we will be in the depths of a Ukrainian winter. As such, we are unlikely to see an influx of reservists have a serious impact on the battlefield until spring 2023 – and even then they will likely be poorly trained and poorly equipped.”
Mark Hertling, former US Army general and analyst at CNN said he had seen firsthand during his visits to the country how bad Russian training can be.
“It was horrible. Rudimentary first aid, few simulations to conserve resources and most importantly horrible leadership,” Hertling wrote on Twitter.
“Putting ‘newbies’ on a front line that has been attacked, has low morale and doesn’t want to be [lá] portends more disaster.
Telenko said the newly deployed troops would likely only become more casualties in Putin’s war.
“Russia can call people. You cannot train, equip, and most importantly, lead them quickly. Untrained waves of 20 to 50 men with AK assault rifles and no radio will crumble on the first Ukrainian artillery or armor strike,” she warned.
Source: CNN Brasil