Putin can’t solve manpower problem without admitting failure

  • Russia is facing a shortage of troops as Ukraine has won several victories in the war.
  • Putin could solve his army’s personnel problem by declaring a formal state of war and appointing men.
  • But doing so would force Putin to acknowledge his country’s failures so far, one expert told Insider.

after the weekend decisive military defeat At the hands of Ukraine’s unexpectedly capable troops, Russia is being forced to confront its own apparent manpower problem – and a stubborn president who refuses to offer relief.

Ukrainian troops achieved their biggest victory ever over the weekend, launching Two major attacks in Northeast And south in one Effective efforts to reclaim the occupied territory. Reports from Frontline indicate that Russian soldiers fled As the country fell under the battered army Strong performance of Ukraine

outrageous harm Russia’s aversion to mobilizing troops in the nearly seven-month war is exemplary, according to experts, as long as the Russian presidency continues to worsen the problem. Vladimir Putin continues to present a credible frontin spite of a depressing reality,

Morale falling amid heavy losses

As the war progresses, The morale of the Russian soldiers is undoubtedly low Falling further, according to Simon Miles, assistant professor at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy and historian of Soviet Union and US-Soviet relations.

“There are a lot of these units not displaying what we would call military professionalismincluding cutting and running,” he told the insider.

Growing tiredness among soldiers And later, the resulting setbacks can be traced to the strategic decisions officers made at the start of the war, Miles said.

“We saw the best Russian military performance in the first few weeks of the war, when the Russian army took its best units and sent large numbers on basically suicide missions,” the professor said. “They took the cream of the crop and threw them in the meat grinder, and now they have the remnants.”

Russia has since been forced to court volunteer soldiers to keep men on the battlefield, with all stops to persuade the country’s people to engage in brutal warfare.

The Russian government has introduced what Miles calls a “stopgap solution” to its personnel problem. Attractive contracts to lure capable fightersThat includes a year’s average pay for only three months of military work. Government is also offering Sign-on Bonus and Hazard Combat PayAccording to George Barros, a geospatial analyst on the Russia and Ukraine portfolio at the Institute for War Studies.

“This is an indicator that the conventional units that fought in Ukraine are very badly degraded,” Barros told Insider in an August interview. “So the Russians will have to scrape the barrel and try who they can.”

Barros said the country is targeting not only veterans with war experience, but anyone who can fight. The army trains them for about 30 days and sends them to war.

The strategy worked well enough at the start of the war, Miles said.

“A lot of people signed for round one,” he said. “But as summer gives way to fall and fall gives way to winter, I would suspect how particularly disastrous things have happened in the past few days, many would sign up to spend the winter in the Ukrainian trench. “

especially as morale is falling“There is certainly a knowledge among the people in Russia that Ukraine is not where you want to go right now,” Barros said.

Russian troops Ukraine tension

In February, Russia ordered troops to enter rebel-held Ukrainian territory.

Russian Ministry of Defense Press Service/Associated Press

a rejected solution

The shortage of men has created a dire situation for the soldiers who find themselves on the front lines.

“Fighting is the most physically and mentally taxing thing a human can subject himself to,” Miles said. “The units that have been in this for six months, it’s just ending.”

But there is a simple solution to Russia’s hopeless shortage of troops, experts said: The country may call for conscription.

Miles said a draft would certainly help rectify the military personnel problem, but Putin is resistant to taking the necessary action to do so. To enlist troops, Russia would have to formally declare a state of war – an escalation that would highlight and confirm Russia’s dismal performance in the conflict so far.

“To refuse to mobilize is to deprive the Russian military of the resource it needs most, which is personnel,” Miles said.

During nearly seven months of fighting, The Russian government has refused to call the war by this name.Instead ensuring that troops are in Ukraine for a “special military operation”.

“Declaring a massive mobilization, a formal declaration of war would be a clear declaration that it’s not working,” Miles said.

Experts said that the false pretense that Russia is not failing is more important in Putin’s mind than actually winning the war.

“He’s insisting on perpetuating the narrative that everything is going well, which no reasonable person would believe,” Miles said.

Ryan Pickrell contributed to this reporting.

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