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  • Russia is mobilizing 300,000 reservists for the war in Ukraine. Here’s why it’ll be a disaster
    Russian reservists may end up as little more cannon fodder in Ukraine.

    Amid recent Ukrainian military victories and continuing losses of troops and equipment, the Kremlin plans to throw 300,000 reservists who have been out of uniform for years into combat with little or no remedial training.

    On Wednesday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that the Russian military would be calling up reservists “who have served, have a military speciality, that is, a speciality that is needed today in the Armed Forces, who have combat experience,” Reuters reported.

    This move comes as Russia is reportedly trying to annex parts of Ukraine that it has captured, just as it did with Crimea in 2014.

    For perspective, a Russian reservist is in a much different situation than a U.S. service member in the Select or Individual Ready Reserve. Most of the troops in the Russian reserves are former conscripts who served for one year or two years and have not had any training since, said retired Marine Col. J.D. Williams, a defense policy researcher with the RAND Corporation.

    “It won’t be pretty, it won’t be efficient, but they’re going to be able to find the people,” Williams told Task & Purpose. “I think the more relevant issue is: How capable and ready are they going to be — not very. How much training are they willing to give them before they send them out to the front lines. Right now, the indications are — the way they’ve pumped units into Ukraine — is not a lot and certainly not enough.”

    One major difference between Russian and U.S. reservists is that American service members come off the rolls of the Individual Ready Reserve after a certain number of years, while former Russian service members do not, Williams told Task & Purpose.

    “But they stay on those rolls, unlike our U.S. Select Reserve and IRR: It’s a smaller pool — but of people who have recently had fairly extensive active-duty service,” Williams said. “Their pool is a much larger group of people, who have served small periods of time some time in the past. You could have some people who have served relatively soon, but a lot of them are going to be five, 10 or more years out of service.”

    Russia’s partial mobilization applies to men with prior military service between the ages of 18 and 50 years old as well as women with “an accounting specialty,” according to RTVI, a privately owned Russian language television network.

    That means the older reservists being mobilized may have last seen service in the Soviet Armed Forces, said retired Marine Col. Michael Samarov, who managed a team for planning Russia, Europe, and NATO strategy and policy that advised the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    “Further, the Putin regime isn’t starting mobilization with a pre-war population,” Samarov told Task & Purpose. “Presumably, Russian Inactive Reserve members that were predisposed to serve have already volunteered. Conversely, there have been several mainstream media reports noting that some number of Russian males have left the country to preemptively avoid potential mobilization. What remains are likely older, less healthy/fit, less motivated people who generally won’t make good soldiers.”

    Getting these reservists into fighting shape will likely be even more difficult for the Russians because there are indications that most of Russia’s military training and education establishment has already deployed to Ukraine, Samarov said. Under these conditions, it is likely the Russian defense ministry will decide to send untrained troops into the fight rather than taking trainers out of operations to get the reservists combat ready, he said.

    Aside from the challenges of getting reservists ready for battle, there is also the question of whether the Russian military has enough modern weapons and other equipment for the hundreds of thousands of new troops that it is calling up, Samarov said.

    “Just having access to numbers of human beings means little without the ability to organize, train, and equip the forces a state intends to build from those human beings,” Samarov said. “I might be proven wrong, but I don’t think that any sort of Russian Inactive Reserve mobilization will produce any kind of decisive combat power. More likely, the Kremlin is building units that will struggle to operate and will sustain a disproportionate number of casualties.”

    ______

    “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

    Comment


    • I'm of the belief that this will obviously not be a war-winner, but on the other hand it isn't going to be a "disaster" either. short of a political revolt, chances of which have increased significantly but is still not likely.

      yeah, actual combat effectiveness of this mobilized crew won't exactly be high, but if they're fighting from defensive positions (for instance, the Donbas fortifications) then they'll do as cannon fodder. expecting them to be useful on the offensive is a different kettle of fish.

      which gets back to what the good Colonel was saying:

      Putin is no longer interested in victory. He's interested in bleeding the Ukrainians white. If he was interested in victory, he would have declared war and mass mobilization. It is not militarily efficent to let WAGNER GROUP orgainze the 3AC.
      I don't think Putin is interested in that level of attrition warfare. he certainly can't afford the number of deaths on his own side to get to "bleeding the Ukrainians white". the very fact that he hasn't declared war and mass mobilization indicates that he feels the risks of those actions outweigh the benefits of "victory", even assuming maximal gain.

      he's looking for a way to stabilize the situation into a stalemate and freeze the conflict at minimum cost, which he can then define down as victory....and it would be, even with the reduced gains compared to where things stood in June.

      I don't know that this will get him there, but he obviously believes that the forces he has on hand can't accomplish that.
      There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

      Comment


      • Originally posted by astralis View Post
        .... I don't think Putin is interested in that level of attrition warfare. he certainly can't afford the number of deaths on his own side to get to "bleeding the Ukrainians white". the very fact that he hasn't declared war and mass mobilization indicates that he feels the risks of those actions outweigh the benefits of "victory", even assuming maximal gain.

        he's looking for a way to stabilize the situation into a stalemate and freeze the conflict at minimum cost, which he can then define down as victory....and it would be, even with the reduced gains compared to where things stood in June.

        I don't know that this will get him there, but he obviously believes that the forces he has on hand can't accomplish that.
        Now if only he and Zelenskyy were on the same page. Because I get the distinct impression Zelenskyy and most other Ukrainians don't have 'stalemate' on their menu list at the moment. They might, repeat might be prepared to accept a 'stalemate' (or be forced to by NATO) once Russia has been pushed back into Crimea and something resembling their pre-war starting positions in the Dombas back in 2014. But anything less than that? No. And I don't think Putin can sell that as a 'victory'.
        Last edited by Monash; 22 Sep 22,, 14:55.
        If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

          “Just having access to numbers of human beings means little without the ability to organize, train, and equip the forces a state intends to build from those human beings,” Samarov said. “I might be proven wrong, but I don’t think that any sort of Russian Inactive Reserve mobilization will produce any kind of decisive combat power. More likely, the Kremlin is building units that will struggle to operate and will sustain a disproportionate number of casualties.”[/B]
          ______
          These troops, whatever they may or may not be, are going to have no effect on what happens for possibly 6 months. Besides that 300,000 number sounds like the proverbial "I caught a fish this biiiiiiiiig" being retold over and over and the damn fish ends up being a minnow. Now maybe, what there is, hunkers down in the trenches of the Donbass they might be of some use since the Russian Command has already wasted most of the native pro-Russian separatists.

          Comment


          • https://www.reuters.com/world/europe...dh-2022-09-21/
            Russia, Ukraine announce major surprise prisoner swap

            KYIV/RIYADH, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Russia and Ukraine carried out an unexpected prisoner swap on Wednesday, the largest since the war began and involving almost 300 people, including 10 foreigners and the commanders who led a prolonged Ukrainian defence of Mariupol earlier this year.

            The foreigners released included two Britons and a Moroccan who had been sentenced to death in June after being captured fighting for Ukraine. Also freed were three other Britons, two Americans, a Croatian, and a Swedish national.

            The timing and magnitude of the swap came as a surprise, given Russian President Vladimir Putin had announced a partial troop mobilisation earlier in the day in an apparent escalation of the conflict that began in February. Pro-Russian separatists had also said last month that the Mariupol commanders would go on trial.

            President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the swap - which involved help from Turkey and Saudi Arabia - had been under preparation for quite a long time and involved intense haggling. Under the terms of the deal, 215 Ukrainians - most of whom were captured after the fall of Mariupol - were released.

            In exchange, Ukraine sent back 55 Russians and pro-Moscow Ukrainians and Viktor Medvedchuk, the leader of a banned pro-Russian party who was facing treason charges.
            "Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Amled View Post

              Sorry about the quote, it was more along the line of:
              “In the Soviet Army it takes more courage to retreat then advance!”
              Probably directed at the Penal Battalions you mentioned!
              Btw Col, based on your military experience would you not expect the RA will only exasperate its current moral problem, with the arrival of draftees!
              Draftees, most probably unwilling, some maybe having been caught with butterfly-nets!
              It’s maybe just my layman’s optics that don’t think it’s advisable to put two disgruntled groups together, and expect favorable results.
              Wonder if the rate of “fragging” will increase?
              To a front line Soldier, once you enter the lines and stick then the vets accept you. History has shown conscripted Soldiers can and do make good Soldiers once the initial break in period. If the choice is between no reinforcement or draftees you'll take the draftees 12 out of 10 times.
              “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
              Mark Twain

              Comment


              • What would be most likely target for Russian tactical nukes in Ukraine?

                Comment


                • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
                  Russia is mobilizing 300,000 reservists for the war in Ukraine. Here’s why it’ll be a disaster
                  Russian reservists may end up as little more cannon fodder in Ukraine.

                  Ukraine war: Russians flee to border after military call-up


                  Queues have sprung up along Russia's border as men attempt to leave the country amid a military call-up for the war in Ukraine.

                  President Vladimir Putin announced a partial military mobilisation on Wednesday, which could see 300,000 people summoned to serve in the war.

                  The Kremlin says reports of fighting-age men fleeing are exaggerated.

                  But on the border with Georgia, miles-long queues of vehicles have formed including men trying to escape the war.

                  One man, who did not want to be named, told the BBC's Rayhan Demytrie he had grabbed his passport and headed to the border, without packing anything else, immediately after President' Putin's announcement - because he fell into the group that could potentially be sent to the war.
                  Some witnesses estimated the queue of cars at the Upper Lars checkpoint to be some 5km (3 miles) long, while another group said it had taken seven hours to get across the border. Video from the scene showed some drivers leaving their cars or trucks temporarily in standstill traffic.

                  Georgia is one of the few neighbouring countries that Russians can enter without needing a apply for a visa. Finland, which shares a 1,300km (800 mile) border with Russia, does require a visa for travel, and also reported an increase in traffic overnight - but said it was at a manageable level.

                  Other destinations reachable by air - such as Istanbul, Belgrade or Dubai - have seen ticket prices skyrocket immediately after the military call-up was announced, with some destinations sold out completely. Turkish media have reported a large spike in one-way ticket sales, while remaining flights to non-visa destinations can cost thousands of euros.

                  cont....with video

                  https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-62996212

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Versus View Post
                    What would be most likely target for Russian tactical nukes in Ukraine?
                    That's what I've been wondering for a long time.

                    I think it will follow stages of escalation if it happens. The first stage of escalation would be Russia detonating a nuke above ground (already a violation) on Russian territory as a demonstration of intent.

                    The next might be in rural Ukraine. Beyond that perhaps some others here could answer better than I. Perhaps nuke an small airbase far away from a city to limit civilian casualties.

                    I'm wondering how effective a nuke will be on spreadout Ukrainian front lines or would front lines be off-limit? I somehow doubt Russia would tell corresponding Russian frontline soldiers to close their eyes at the moment of detonation.

                    I think nuking a Ukrainian city will be forbidden by the Russian high command no matter what happens on the battlefield. The global repercussions would be too painful for Russia -- just my opinion.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Versus View Post
                      What would be most likely target for Russian tactical nukes in Ukraine?
                      I did that planning in real life. I don't want to do it here.
                      “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                      Mark Twain

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Goatboy View Post

                        That's what I've been wondering for a long time.

                        I think it will follow stages of escalation if it happens. The first stage of escalation would be Russia detonating a nuke above ground (already a violation) on Russian territory as a demonstration of intent.

                        The next might be in rural Ukraine. Beyond that perhaps some others here could answer better than I. Perhaps nuke an small airbase far away from a city to limit civilian casualties.

                        I'm wondering how effective a nuke will be on spreadout Ukrainian front lines or would front lines be off-limit? I somehow doubt Russia would tell corresponding Russian frontline soldiers to close their eyes at the moment of detonation.

                        I think nuking a Ukrainian city will be forbidden by the Russian high command no matter what happens on the battlefield. The global repercussions would be too painful for Russia -- just my opinion.
                        My candidates are Liviv and Odessa. Stage one is already underway with 9M730, by the end of this month if memory serves me well. They will do it, its no matter if but when and the hunch says that they will do it 3 times in a row.
                        Last edited by Versus; 22 Sep 22,, 18:03.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Versus View Post

                          My candidates are Liviv and Odessa. Stage one is already underway with 9M730, by the end of this month if memory serves me well. They will do it, its no matter if but when and the hunch says that they will do it 3 times in a row.
                          You're saying that Russia will launch a nuclear attack on Liviv and Odessa before October 1st? How do you know this? What is "Stage One"?
                          “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

                          Comment


                          • A thread on which population groups are being impacted the greatest amount by the 300k Call Up

                            No surprise...Not too many White Russians impacted.

                            https://twitter.com/samagreene/statu...79369915682816


                            A thread by Sam Greene


                            As Russia's military commissariats begin rounding up reservists for the front, we're seeing fairly clear -- if inevitably anecdotal -- evidence that the call-up is falling hardest on the communities already hardest hit by the war, particularly ethnic minorities.

                            /1

                            As has been the case since the beginning, that means Buryats...

                            /2



                            ... and Dagestanis...

                            /3



                            ... but also Tatars...

                            /4



                            ... and Yakuts...

                            /5



                            ... and inevitably many others, including ethnically Slavic rust-belt towns.

                            /7



                            Racism and classism are absolutely part of this process. Wars are almost always fought by the disenfranchised, marginalized and the poor on behalf of the powerful -- and Russia is no exception in that regard.

                            /8

                            But there is also a more mundane -- and, for Putin, a more problematic -- reason behind this: Bureaucratic inertia.

                            Tasked with mobilizing as many men as possible as quickly as possible, the military is going for the easiest targets.

                            /9

                            Inefficient bureaucracies -- whether the police, the tax authorities or the military -- will often try to hit their targets by fishing over and over again from the same ponds. It's easier than seeking new fishing holes, even if it brings diminishing returns.

                            /10

                            The diminishing returns from such behavior, meanwhile, accrue to others: to the communities being decimated by this war, and to the front-line commanders, who will have to fight with poorly trained and weakly motivated troops.

                            /11

                            I've been noting for months that the burden is falling inequitably on particular communities, creating pockets of deprivation and injustice -- and warning that the Kremlin lacks the administrative capacity to smooth things out.

                            /12 (tldrussia.substack.com/p/pyrrhic-vict…)

                            What we're seeing now bears that analysis out: Rather than correcting the mistakes of the earlier phases of this war, the Russian administrative machinery is deepening them. The scenes we're seeing from Dagestan are evidence of the potential consequences of that.

                            /13

                            The Kremlin's coercive apparatus will now have to pick up the tab for this administrative dysfunction, seeing off protests and rounding up reluctant recruits. If they're mostly facing down big-city liberals, they'll probably make it through.

                            /14

                            But if the Kremlin needs to suppress the communities from which the military is trying to recruit troops, it may struggle. It's not just that blue-collar workers might fight harder on the streets, though it's that, too.

                            /15

                            If the Kremlin tries to repress ethnic minorities, they will sharpen identities, imbue those identities with a sense of injustice, and swing horizontal social institutions into the fight -- institutions that can be much more legitimate in these communities than Putin is.

                            /END
                            “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                            Mark Twain

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

                              You're saying that Russia will launch a nuclear attack on Liviv and Odessa before October 1st? How do you know this? What is "Stage One"?
                              The Buravesnik trials are scheduled for the end of this month if memory serves me well. Now, will it carry a live warhead that remains to be seen. No I didn't say that they will strike Liviv and Odessa,but that those two are by my opinion the two most likely targets if the nuclear option is chosen.
                              Albany Rifles made some good points. Now the thing is what is more profitable. Sending 300.000 troops to the frontlines or deploy tactical nukes? I bet that that is the math that is being crunched right now.
                              Last edited by Versus; 22 Sep 22,, 18:34.

                              Comment


                              • Albany Rifles made some good points. Now the thing is what is more profitable. Sending 300.000 troops to the frontlines or deploy tactical nukes? I bet that that is the math that is being crunched right now.

                                And feel sorry for the poor bastards who end up getting stuck with this...I had to go through therapy for a couple of years after that job...and I only held the job for 13 months.
                                “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                                Mark Twain

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