(CNN) — Vladimir Putin can call in as many troops as he wants, but Russia has no way of getting the new troops training and weapons they need to fight in Ukraine as quickly as possible.
With his invasion of Ukraine faltering, Russia’s 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 encounter Ukrainian weapons at the front, they are likely to become the new victims of the offensive that Putin launched more than seven months ago and has seen Russian forces fail in almost every aspect of modern warfare. Is.
“The Russian military is currently not equipped to deploy 300,000 reservists quickly and effectively,” said Alex Lord, Europe and Eurasia expert at strategic analysis firm Sibylline in London.
“Russia is already struggling to effectively equip its professional forces in Ukraine, following significant equipment losses during the war,” Lord said.
The recent Ukrainian invasion, in which Kyiv occupied thousands of square meters of territory, has taken a significant toll.
The Institute for the Study of War said earlier this week that an analysis by Western experts and Ukrainian intelligence found that Russia spent 50% to 90% of its forces in some units in that offensive, as well as large amounts. Because of the armor was lost.
And this is on top of staggering equipment losses during the war.
The open-source intelligence website Oryx, using only damages confirmed by photographic or video evidence, has found that 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 so many new troops,” said Jacob Janowski, a military analyst contributing to the Orix blog.
JT Crump, CEO of Sibylline and a 20-year veteran of the British Army, said Russia is starting to experience ammunition shortages in certain calibers and is looking for sources for key components to recover lost territory in the region. repair or replacement of weapons. war.
Not only tanks and armored personnel carriers are lost. In many cases, Russian soldiers do not have the basics in Ukraine, including a clear definition of why they are risking their lives.
Despite Wednesday’s mobilization order, Putin calls Ukraine a “special military operation”, not a war.
The soldiers of Ukraine know that they are fighting for their homeland. Many Russian soldiers do not know why they are in Ukraine.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis pointed to Putin’s announcement of a partial mobilization on Wednesday, calling it “a sign of desperation”.
“I think people certainly don’t want to go to a war they don’t understand. … Calling Russia’s war in Ukraine a war would put people in jail, and now suddenly they have to go to battle He was without gear, without weapons, without bulletproof jacket, without helmet,” he said.
But even if they had all the equipment, weapons and motivation they need, getting 300,000 soldiers into combat training quickly would be impossible, experts said.
“Currently, neither additional officers nor the facilities necessary for large-scale mobilization 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 commercializing the Russian military, eliminated many of the military and command-and-control structures that once housed the armies of the former Soviet Union to rapidly train and mobilize large numbers of recruits. was able to equip.
Lord, in Sibyline, said it would take at least three months to round up, train and deploy Russian reservists.
“By that time we will be in the depths of the Ukrainian winter,” said God. “As such, we are unlikely to see any serious impact to the influx of reservists on the battlefield until the spring of 2023 and even then they are likely to be poorly trained and poorly equipped.”
Mark Hartling, a former US Army general and CNN analyst, said he has seen firsthand how bad Russian training can be during his visits to the country.
“It was terrifying … ruthless first aid, very little practice to conserve resources, and … most important … terrible leadership,” Hartling wrote on Twitter,
“Putting rogues on a front that has been hit lowers their morale and doesn’t want to signal (there) a further (Russian) disaster.”
“This is amazing,” Hartling tweeted.
Telenko said the newly mobilized troops would likely become the latest victims of Putin’s war.
“Russia can recruit corps. It cannot train, cannot equip, and most importantly, they have to lead quickly.”
“Untrained waves of 20 to 50 men with AK assault rifles and no radio would fall into the first Ukrainian artillery or armor attack,” he said.