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Announced during a televised statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin, the partial mobilization of the Russian reserves is expected to provide 300,000 troops to the Russian units fighting on the frontlines in Ukraine.
But there are some issues both with the process of mobilization but also with the mobilized reservists.
The Sorry State of the Russian Mobilization
Mobilizing a country for war is not an easy task. It is not easy for men with families and jobs to go back into uniform at the snap of a finger.
Countries that are leaders in mobilizations, such as Estonia and Finland, understand the complexities involved in such an important process and drill the procedures frequently in order to hash out any problems on the military end but also prepare the population for the realities of a mobilization.
There are several incidents in which mobilized reservists have had to wait days to get to their training base or have had to wait for days there without doing anything but getting drunk and fighting with each other.
All the while, the Russian military has been unprepared to admit so many troops to its ranks.
The Sorry State of the Russian Reserves
The Russian military continues to take a battering in Ukraine, and the prospect of new troops from the partially mobilized reserves isn’t very bright. According to reports and intelligence assessments, the mobilized Russian reserves are in a very sorry state, and they are receiving awfully inadequate training and equipment before they are sent to the frontlines.
Indeed, footage from the training camps shows Russian officers and senior enlisted soldiers instructing the mobilized reservists to bring or ask their families to send them essentially everything they would need in a combat situation besides their weapons and ammunition. The list includes items such as sleeping bags, blankets, tourniquets, diarrhea pills, first aid kits, boots, knives, and even tampons to allegedly stop the bleeding from bullet wounds.
The Russian military’s inability to provide for the mobilized reservists was expected. At the end of the day, Moscow hasn’t been able to provide for its active-duty troops, who are having to scour for basic needs such as boots, food, and even first aid kits.
Putin’s decision to partially mobilize his country and call 300,000 reservists is supposed to give the Russian military the manpower boost it so badly needs in order to achieve some of its objectives in Ukraine. However, that might not be the case in the end, and the partial mobilization has all the potential to backfire for Moscow.
Expert Biography: A 19FortyFive Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.