Russia is about to form 300,000 new soldiers.  You will not be able to train them.

Russia is about to form 300,000 new soldiers. You will not be able to train them.

Russia will mobilize 300,000 men in an attempt to make up for its losses in Ukraine and expand the army, PRESS. Vladimir Putin announced Wednesday.

This is a smaller fill-up than some analysts expected. But it’s not likely to make a difference in Ukraine.

Putin said the Kremlin would only recruit “those who served in the armed forces and have certain military specialties”, excluding students, single parents and federal lawmakers.

The goal, according to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, is to increase the Russian army from its current authorized strength of 900,000 soldiers to 1.4 million, starting next year.

Putin’s announcement struck a chord with a civilian population that has so far been isolated from the worst effects of Russia’s seven-month war in Ukraine.

A demonstration broke out in Moscow. The Russian government has ordered Russian airlines to stop selling tickets to men between the ages of 18 and 60 to prevent them from leaving the country.

Even this small mobilization may be more than the Russian Army’s training base can handle. “Rallying 300,000 ‘reservists’, after failing with depleted conventional forces, clumsy militia, recruiting prisoners and using paramilitaries like the Wagner Group, would be extremely difficult,” chirp Mark Hertling, retired US Army general.

Hertling recalled two visits to Russian basic training bases. β€œIt was awful. Familiarity versus qualification on guns, first aid, too few simulations to conserve resources, and most importantly, horrible driving by β€œdrill sergeants.”

The main problem, with the Russian military recruiting hundreds of thousands of dissatisfied conscripts, is that basic training in the Russian system is fast by design. The practice in Russia is for front-line battalions to handle most of the training of the new forces.

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But this means that training is inconsistent at best – and varies according to the resources available to each brigade. “How the units are resourced plays a big role,” Hertlund explained. β€œOne of the tank units I visited near Moscow proudly told me that they got one tank shot. [per] crew every year. “

That was in peacetime. Now that almost all Russian brigades are in Ukraine, and suffer devastating losses, there is less spare capacity for large-scale training back home.

The Kremlin is not helping this summer to raid the training facility at many bases, assign trainers to new front-line battalions in order to compensate for the losses incurred by the army in Ukraine in the spring.

What that means, for the next wave of recruits, is that they are unlikely to get much in the way of effective training before they reach the front in Ukraine. There, they will encounter Ukraine’s best-trained – and infinitely more motivated – forces.

The implications are clear. β€œPutting ‘newbies’ in the front line who have been attacked, morale is low and who don’t want to be [there] It portends more…disaster,” Hurtling tweeted. β€œJaws fall. New sign of [Russian] weakness.”

If there’s anything working in Russia’s favour, it’s that the war in Ukraine is about to slow downβ€”a lot. October, November and December are traditionally wet and cold in Ukraine. Offensive operations in the country tend to stop until the ground freezes in January.

Assuming the Ukrainians adhere to a slower pace of operations, the Russian military may have a few months to prepare the initial shipments of the new forces.

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It’s a huge gamble for Moscow. β€œWe will not know until 2023 whether this recall can lead to the stability of the Russian army, let alone an increase in its combat power in the long run,” pointed Institute for the Study of War in Washington, DC

Even if mobilization succeeds in generating significant numbers of combat-ready forces β€” an unlikely outcome β€” it may come at an unacceptable cost to the Putin regime.

Mobilization could force millions of ordinary Russians to finally face the truth. Their country is at war and lost. β€œPutin is accepting greater political risks by undermining the illusion that Russia is neither at war nor a national crisis, in the hope of generating more combat power,” British MoD advertiser.

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