Putin Chooses Mobilization, Sham Referendum, Continuing Humiliation

Putin Chooses Mobilization, Sham Referendum, Continuing Humiliation. By Lawrence Person.

Faced with the continued erosion of Russia’s military position in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has chosen to double-down on failure. …

Before this announcement it was apparent that Russia basically had no reserves, so a mobilization isn’t a surprise. …

Peter Zeihan (via Lawrence Person):

The Russians are now discovering that they’re actually outnumbered locally, and that with all the captured equipment, the Ukrainians actually now have more artillery and more ammo.

This is the sort of war the Russians know how to fight: Just throw bodies after it. …

Russia is already crashing demographically, and the main cohort of this war is coming from the men who should be fathering children.

This is potentially a country killer. Before I thought that this was Russia’s last war. Now I’m certain of it.

Stephen Green:

A 2019 RAND study noted that … Russia has an effective reserve of only 4,000-5,000 men.

The country’s former army reserve units had been disbanded from 2008-2010 as part of the military’s modernization program, with their equipment — all of it older — going into storage or scrapped.

That doesn’t mean that Russia can’t conscript, train, organize, and arm 300,000 new soldiers, but it won’t be quick or easy.

One problem, as Foreign Affairs analyst Oliver Alexander put it, is “effectively readying and equipping these reservists. Russia already has problems equipping its professional armed forces.”

Then there’s the speed problem. Dara Massicot wrote back in August — weeks before Kyiv’s stunning counteroffensive in Kharkiv — that “Even if the Kremlin pulls all levers available, declaring a general mobilization to call up sufficient armored equipment and trained personnel, that process would still take time.”

That’s because with something like 80% of Russia’s combat power already fighting in Ukraine, plus wartime losses to their NCO and officer corps, the Russian army will need to train more trainers before anything like 300,000 men can be mobilized.

Just last month, Putin ordered an increase in the size of the Russian military of 137,000 troops. But as I reported to you then, Putin’s order only meant that “Starting next year, the Russian military will be authorized to find another 137,000 troops.” The country has long had a problem with draft dodgers, one that Putin’s “special military operation” won’t help.

Notice that it took Ukraine about six months between full mobilization (early March) and those troops showing up in numbers on the battlefield (September).