If they face Ukrainian guns on the front lines, they are likely to be among the deadliest in Putin’s offensive that was launched more than seven months ago and has outstripped the Russian military in almost every aspect of modern warfare. But failed.
“The Russian military is not currently equipped to deploy 300,000 reservists quickly and effectively,” said Alex Lord, a Europe and Eurasia expert at the Siebelian strategic analysis firm in London.
“Russia is already struggling to effectively arm its professional forces in Ukraine, following significant equipment losses during the war,” Lord said.
The Institute for the Study of War said earlier this week that an analysis by Western experts and Ukrainian intelligence found that Russia has reduced its strength in some units by up to 50% because of the offensive and large numbers of weapons. 90% is lost.
And it comes on top of the staggering losses of goods during the war.
The open-source intelligence website Oryx, using only confirmed losses from photographic or video evidence, found that Russian forces have lost more than 6,300 vehicles, including 1,168 tanks, since the fighting began.
“In practice, they don’t have enough advanced equipment … for so many new troops,” said Jacob Janowski, a military analyst who contributes to the Oryx blog.
JT Crump, Sibylline’s CEO and a 20-year veteran of the British military, said Russia is facing shortages of ammunition in some calibers and is looking to source critical components to prevent them from being lost on the battlefield. Can repair or replace weapons.
It’s not just tanks and armored personnel carriers that have been lost.
In many cases, Russian troops in Ukraine lack the basics, including a clear definition of what they are risking their lives for.
Despite the mobilization order on Wednesday, Putin is still calling Ukraine a “special military operation,” not a war.
Ukrainian soldiers know they are fighting for their homeland. Many Russian soldiers do not know why they are in Ukraine.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergs noted this on Wednesday, calling Putin’s announcement of partial mobilization a “sign of desperation.”
“I think people certainly don’t want to go into a war that they don’t understand. … If they call Russia’s war in Ukraine a war, people would be put in jail, and now all of a sudden they have You have to go in and fight it without preparation, without weapons, without body armor, without helmets,” he said.
Even if they had all the equipment, weapons and motivation, it would be impossible to quickly train 300,000 troops for war, experts say.
“Neither the additional officers nor the necessary facilities are now in Russia for a large-scale mobilization,” said Trent Telenko, a former quality control 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 once allowed the old Soviet Union’s forces to rapidly train and equip large numbers of mobile recruits. was made capable of.
Lord said in Sibylline that it would take at least three months to collect, train and deploy the Russian reservists.
“At this point we’ll be in the depths of the Ukrainian winter,” Lord said. “Thus, we are unlikely to see an influx of reservists 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 U.S. Army general and CNN analyst, said he has seen firsthand how poor Russian training can be during visits to the country.
“It was terrible… early first aid, very little simulation to conserve resources, and… most importantly… terrible leadership,” Hertling wrote on Twitter.
“Putting ‘new kids’ on the front line who are demoralized and don’t want to be (there) is a sign of more (Russian) destruction.
Telenko said the newly mobilized troops would likely become just the latest casualties in Putin’s war.
“Russia can draft corps. It cannot quickly train, equip and most importantly lead them.
“Untrained waves of 20 to 50 with few AK assault rifles and no radios will not fall under the first Ukrainian artillery or armored attack,” he said.