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Putin faces problem of replenishing reserves for war – ISW

Monday, 27 February 2023, 11:22
Putin faces problem of replenishing reserves for war – ISW

Analysts from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) assume that manpower reserves in the Russian army are not endless.

Source: ISW report

Quote: "Putin may find himself facing another dilemma after another wave or two of reserve call-ups, as the pool of reservists appropriate for front-line fighting is finite." 

Details: According to the analysts, last year, losses at the front were made up for by so-called "partial mobilisation".

Now, to make up for the losses of Russians at the contact line, Putin may have to consider expanding conscription, involving more and more young Russian men against their will in military service. Although, as analysts point out, the country's demographics do not favour such an approach.

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According to ISW estimates, 800,000 young people reach the age of 18 in Russia every year, while 260,000 Russians are called up for military service.

Expanding conscription beyond 260,000 people will result in the army recruiting citizens who are physically unfit for service. This will also reduce the number of Russians involved in the country's economy, which Putin is trying to put on a military track, analysts say.

Background: 

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  • According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as of 27 February, the total combat losses of the Russian invaders in manpower are estimated to be about 148,690 people.
  • As Kyrylo Budanov, Chief of Ukraine’s Defence Intelligence, reported, during the first official wave of mobilisation, Russia had recruited just over 316,000 conscripts, almost all of whom were sent to fight against Ukraine without proper training.

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