It has now been three months since Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops to invade Ukraine on February 24. So far, the Russian army has not been able to achieve its goals, and experts fear that the war could drag on for a long time.

In an interview with “ntv”, military expert Gustav Gressel, military and security expert from the European Council on Foreign Relations, explains why the military situation in Ukraine could improve in the future. “The lack of personnel in the Russian troops becomes more noticeable the longer the war lasts.” According to Gressel – and other experts – the losses at the beginning of the war, especially among “the best elite units, paratroopers and marines”, are enormous.

The British secret service believes that the Russian army has lost around a third of its soldiers since the beginning of the war. Gressel believes that the invading Russian army has shrunk from 150,000 to 190,000 troops when it started to around 120,000 soldiers now.

Replenishment is meanwhile difficult to organize. “The willingness of the Russians to volunteer for this war is low – volunteers do not come to the extent that the troops are suffering losses,” Gressel told “ntv”. Many soldiers whose contracts are currently expiring mutinied and thus prevented the contracts from being automatically renewed.

Due to the lack of personnel, experts had assumed that Putin would call for general mobilization on May 9, Russia’s Victory Day. However, that has not happened. It’s different in the Ukraine: mobilization was proclaimed there in February because of the war. According to Gressel, it will take “a few months” for the mobilized soldiers to be operational.

However, the military expert draws up a soldier’s bill that the Russian leadership is unlikely to like. “Over the summer, probably in late summer, it can be expected that the Ukrainians will be able to catch up numerically with the Russians and move significant forces to the Donbass. Then it will be problematic for Russia,” Gressel told ntv.

Gressel’s prognosis: “If Putin doesn’t call for a general mobilization for domestic political reasons, we’ll have the situation I mentioned in the fall, in which the Ukrainians are at least numerically superior to the Russians.”

In the “ntv” interview, the military expert explains what is important: “Two points will then be decisive. Will the Ukrainians then have enough mechanized infantry to launch offensives themselves? And what condition will the Russian troops be in then?”

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