Political Commentary, Technology and Society, War Commentary The Coming Russian “Mobilization” September 20, 2022 Rand Simberg 15 Comments What it actually means.
15 thoughts on “The Coming Russian “Mobilization””
FWIW the cited article is almost 6 years old.
Has anything of significance changed in the interim?
Yes. Russia is appreciably less capable in nearly every respect than it was six years ago. Actually invading Ukraine has simply increased the rate of Russian rot by at least a full order of magnitude.
Russia is acting like pre-WW2 fascist Italy in many respects: Corruption, Limited Industrial Base, Limited Income, and Grandiose Imperial Ambitions. Money that could have been spent modernizing the army were spent on foreign adventures like sending 30,000-odd “Volunteers” to fight in Spain on the Nationalist side. Russia has nuclear weapons, though…
I think I may have seriously overslept.
Russia would still have most of the same problems they have right now but more people to throw at things. Even though Ukraine is a smaller country, that isn’t represented in the size of the two armies engaged. Does Russia have the gear to equip new soldiers? Will winter buy them enough time to train them? Will Russia’s allies send help? Can Ukraine maintain their momentum and what do they have planned for winter?
More people, maybe, but not more soldiers.
These new people will not be well-equipped either. Russia has already committed most of its in-best-shape equipment to its “special military operation” over the past seven months. The Ukrainians have destroyed a lot of it and captured much of the rest, especially recently.
Winter will not buy Russia time to do anything, especially train raw conscripts or knock the rust off of “reservists.”
Russia has no real allies. The PRC has already begged off sending any help. The Iranians and North Koreans are sending arms for cash. The Iranian stuff hasn’t been working out too well in the field. The North Korean stuff hasn’t gotten there yet. Given that the Nork stuff is all copies of Soviet-era tube artillery and “dumb” shells for same, it is unlikely to make any more difference than the Russians’ own comparable weapons have – assuming any of it ever gets to Ukraine at all.
Ukraine will not be re-capturing land, in future, at the rate chalked up during the first week of its counteroffensive, but it will maintain net forward progress. This will include sporadic recaptures of significant size over short periods of time – sort of like completing occasional forward passes while continuing a three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust ground game.
What do the Ukies have planned for Winter? We’ll find out shortly after the Russians do. It will probably be at least moderately surprising. Whatever it is, the Russians will not find it pleasant.
Winter too far off, what about the fall ‘rasputitsa’? Ukrainians walking about picking off mired Russian stuff.
Send more tractors.
I notice Shallow Minded Reader disappeared when the news turned bad for Russia. Did he lose his keyboard? Need more talking points from the mothership?
Also I wonder at the Russia efforts to rig referendums. Can’t be anyone who takes it seriously. What scheme does it further?
24-48 hr rule, but in this case maybe a couple of weeks.
Take your time.
The only purpose of the referendums is so that Russian state media can go on Russian TV and say “Ukrainians in ____ and ____ voted overwhelmingly to join the Russian Federation, recognizing that their future is as part of Russia, and sending a stern rebuke to the Nazi dictator in Kiev.”
A mobilization would allow Putin to compel some units that have refused to serve outside of Russia to do so. It would also allow conscripts to be used outside the country. I don’t know just how these legal niceties are holding up now, there were reports, early on, of units refusing to be deployed. I wouldn’t want to be standing between Putin and something he wanted with only the law to protect me.
I understand a lot of the Spring conscripts didn’t show up. The next set of lucky inductees is due in October. Presumably a mobilization would give them more leverage to compel attendance.
If there was some bottomless real stock of reserve equipment, we would have seen it by now. The $64 question is what sort of shape the strategic forces are in. I’m betting that it’s been a lot easier to gut them since nobody ever expects them to be used and there’s so much to be made by selling off bits and pieces.
I’d be surprised to find out there were any “legal niceties” in Russia (Joke: What’s the leading cause of death in Moscow these days? A: Windows.). The problem with the attrition rate of the Strategic Forces is, how many thermonuclear explosions on the continental US is acceptable? Let’s say only 10% of his nukes work. Well 200 nukes will more or less wipe us out. Let’s say only 1% work. 20 nukes is just about enough to obliterate all the Democrat-controlled cities. Maybe that?
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