Russia has admitted it needs 5 million troops to win a war, Ukraine says

Ukraine has said Russia could seek to recruit millions of troops for its invasion after hundreds of thousands were called up in its recent partial mobilization.

The Kremlin has said the draft announced by Russian leader Vladimir Putin in September, aimed at recruiting 300,000 reservists, officially ended on October 31.

reservists in Crimea
Reservists drafted during partial mobilization attend a farewell ceremony in Sevastopol, Crimea, September 27, 2022. The Ukrainian Armed Forces have stated that Russia is looking for a draft application to enlist millions of soldiers.
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But the fact that the official decree on the draft had not been revoked led to rumors within Russia that Putin still had options for another wave of mobilizations.

Oleksiy Gromov, an official of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said at a briefing that the Russian political leadership circulated a document entitled “Conclusions of the war with NATO in Ukraine.”

Gromov said the document outlines problems Russian troops face, such as the flaws in the chain of command, lack of discipline and outdated weapons.

“The document also says that there has not been such a war for more than 80 years, and for Russia to achieve victory, the numerical composition of its army should be about 5 million soldiers,” Gromov said, as reported by the Ukrainian state news agency quotes Ukrinform.

This could mean that the next wave of mobilization and the introduction of martial law in the country could take place “in the near future”, Ukrinfrom reported. According to Statista, the total personnel of the Russian armed forces amounts to about 2 million.

Asked how Ukraine would react if faced with a larger Russian army, Gromov said, according to a translation, that such work is still ongoing and that “calculations are being made almost daily.”

news week has asked the Russian Defense Ministry for comment.

On Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed a report that the country would be “mobilized” after it was published online said Putin would appeal for a nationwide draft by the end of 2022.

The publication added that the Russian leader would address “the mobilization of soldiers and officers, as well as the economy.” However, Peskov said the report was not true, Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti reported.

Putin has defended the draft, but it has been plagued by complaints that it has been botched and that reservists are being sent into combat under-equipped and under-trained.

On November 23, video recordings showed reservists from Serpukhov, Moscow Oblast, 62 miles south of the capital, and complained of mismanagement and poor leadership. A soldier says to the camera: “We don’t know our main task”, but at the moment “our main task is to survive”.

The Council of Mothers and Wives of Mobilized Soldiers, a grassroots movement, is demanding that Putin meet with its members after the Kremlin said the Russian leader will speak to mothers of troops in the country on Mother’s Day (November 27).

The group said none of its members had been invited to an event planned for Sunday and accused Putin of “hiding”. Russia has admitted it needs 5 million troops to win a war, Ukraine says

Rick Schindler

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