During the Russian partial mobilization, 300,000 new recruits were drafted. However, this does not solve the problems of the Russian army in Ukraine. The military experts at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) are convinced that Putin will go even further.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be satisfied with the supposedly completed partial mobilization for his Ukraine war. Instead, he will continue to mobilize covertly. The military experts of the US Institute for the Study of War (ISW) come to this analysis.
The reason: Partial mobilization is not enough to stop the Russian defeats in Ukraine.
In four steps, what happened to Putin’s mobilization can be explained – and what’s next.
At the end of September, Putin announced that he wanted to draft 300,000 reservists. Russia was losing on several fronts at the time. Putin wanted to stop the decline. He had to increase the decimated troops. He wanted to recruit only men with combat experience.
Immediately after the announcement, many experts assessed the situation as follows: Russia does not have 300,000 troops with combat experience. Putin will therefore have to conscript many uneducated men. They will receive little training and poor equipment.
They are quickly taken to the front and end up as “cannon fodder”. In the best case scenario, the new recruits will increase defensive power, but in no case will they increase offensive power. Because good warfare by a unit requires months of training.
Reports from sections of the front and from intercepted telephone calls by Russian soldiers show that the experts were right. Many new recruits are brought to important front sections within a few days. They have no training, no weapons, no food. They hardly get any of their wages. Many die shortly after they arrive at the front.
The Russian withdrawal continues. The Ukrainians continue to advance both in the Luhansk region (Lyman, Svatovo, Kreminna) and around the city of Cherson. The new recruits only help to slow it down. Even in the hard-fought town of Bakhmut, the Russians were unable to make any progress, despite reinforcements.
Putin publicly declared on Friday that the mobilization was “complete” and “successful”. But in reality he acts contrary to this explanation. At the same time, Putin signed a decree allowing convicted criminals to be recruited for deployment in Ukraine. In addition, Putin signed several other instructions that, according to “ISW” experts, indicate one thing: “Putin is preparing a covert mobilization in Russia.”
The Russian President is trying to lure volunteers and also to prepare the ground for legal further mobilization. “Putin still hasn’t signed an order to end partial mobilization,” ISW researchers said.
As the human rights lawyer Pavel Chikov explained to “Meduza”, Putin has no interest in this either. He could end the mobilization with another decree. But: This would de facto stop mobilization and restore the rights of the recruits.
Instead, independent Russian media are now reporting that Putin is even preparing “a second wave of mobilization.” In many regions, recruitment centers are currently being modernized and lists of able-bodied men are being drawn up.
For weeks now, the Wagner mercenary group in particular has been recruiting new recruits in Russian – and also eastern Ukrainian – prisons. Now Putin has given absolution to expand this measure. The “ISW” experts believe that he is also trying to reduce social tensions in Russia.
Because the mobilization hit many civilians across Russia. Accordingly, large sections of society became angry. According to the analysis, Putin wants to calm the emerging criticism. This would probably also be necessary for a continuation of the mobilization – whether secretly or openly in a second official wave.