Russian President Vladimir V. Putin’s decision to mobilize 300,000 reservists could just be a way to reinforce the failure, Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said during an announcement today.
Putin has summoned 300,000 Russian reserve soldiers for his unjust, unprovoked war in Ukraine. He also indirectly hit his nuclear weapon.
His action follows his actions following a Ukrainian counteroffensive that pushed Russian forces out of Kharkiv and liberated more than 3,000 square miles of Ukrainian territory. In August, DOD Policy Chief Colin Kahl declared that the Russians have lost between 100,000 and 70,000 military personnel in their war on Ukraine.
Putin’s mobilisation “would primarily be reservists or members of the Russian military that had retired,” Ryder said.
They are not like reserves within the United States. The reserve components in the U.S. military are trained and ready to move in short weeks or days, as required.
Under the Russian model the people are those who have completed their service commitment and are now being asked to come back. “It’s our assessment that it would take time for Russia to train, prepare and equip these forces,” Ryder said.
Russian actions in the war against Ukraine indicate severe issues with command and control and an inability to coordinate logistics since the war began on February 24. These issues haven’t been solved and have led to the failure of Russian operations to seize the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv in March and the Russian inability to make any headway in the Donbas region in April.
The mobilization “may address a manpower issue for Russia,” Ryder said. “What’s not clear is whether or not it could significantly address the command and control, the logistics, the sustainment and importantly, the morale issues that we’ve seen Russian forces in Ukraine experience.”
If Russia cannot manage sustain and equip approximately 100,000 troops they have in Ukraine and maintain their current army, adding 300,000 troops to the mix isn’t going to make things better. “If you are already having significant challenges and haven’t addressed some of those systemic strategic issues that make any large military force capable, there’s nothing to indicate that it’s going to get any easier by adding more variables to the equation,” Ryder stated.
The United States and its partners are going to continue an open and thorough dialog with Ukrainian counterparts to learn about the country’s requirements. “I don’t see those conversations as being impacted by the situation ,” the general said. “I think it’s important here to provide a some the context. If we go back in time a little to the beginning, Russia invaded Ukraine and attempted to annex the entirety of Ukraine.
“They failed in that strategic objective, and so they scaled down the scope of their operational objectives,” he said. “Even those aren’t going well due to Ukraine’s counter offensive and the issues that I’ve highlighted in terms of logistics and sustainment.”
Putin when he made the announcement regarding mobilization, scheduling sham referenda in captured areas of the Donbas or threats about attacking the territory, “it doesn’t change the operational facts on the ground, which are that the Ukrainians will continue to fight for their country,” Ryder said. “The Russian military is dealing with some significant challenges on the ground and the international community will stand behind Ukraine as they fight to defend their country from an invasion.”