Russia’s big offensive requires hundreds of thousands of mobilized soldiers, ‘posing threat to Kremlin’
Dictator Putin in a training camp for the mobilized (Photo:Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS)
With hundreds of thousands of mobilized Russians expected to take part in Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s big offensive, this emerging trend could pose a significant threat to the Kremlin, the editor of the Atlantic Council’s Ukraine Alert Service, Peter Dickinson, wrote in his column on Feb. 14.
Dickinson said Russia’s own experience in 1917 is a reminder of the unpredictable consequences that can follow when an army in wartime stops taking orders.
He said that one of the key reasons behind the sharp recent rise in casualties is Russia’s growing reliance on mobilized personnel with limited military training.
Many mobilized Russians appear to be less than enthusiastic about their new role as the shock troops of Putin’s faltering invasion, he said.
“If current casualty rates are any indication, the coming attack could result in unprecedented loss of life and spark a complete collapse in morale among Russia’s already demoralized mobilized troops,” Dickinson said.
“This would make life very difficult for the Russian army in Ukraine, which would find itself confronted by a breakdown in discipline that would severely limit its ability to stage offensive operations. Nor is there any guarantee that the problems would stop there.”
Dickinson said Putin is now desperate to demonstrate that his invasion is back on track and has reportedly massed huge reserves for a new push to overwhelm Ukraine’s defenses. This is a tried and tested Russian tactic, but it also carries considerable risks.
“Sending thousands of untrained men to fight against battle-hardened and highly motivated Ukrainian troops could result in the kind of carnage that breaks armies,” the expert said.
“If that happens, the fallout would likely reverberate throughout Russia and destabilize the entire regime. Putin may then find that saving his invasion is the least of his worries.”
Ukrainian Military Intelligence spokesperson Andriy Yusov said on Feb. 15 that Russian troops are currently suffering the biggest losses since the beginning of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Ukrainian intelligence has also reported that Russians have attacked Bakhmut and Vuhledar in Donetsk Oblast to delay the Ukrainian military’s counter-offensive.
According to Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar, only one training center in Russia’s Rostov Oblast sends about 500 mobilized soldiers to the war against Ukraine every week, most of whom are being trained from two to three weeks.
At the same time, those who do not want to become cannon fodder deliberately damage military equipment.
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