Mobilization in Russia: Will it change anything? Opinion
Mobilization in Russia
“Only citizens currently in the reserves and, above all, those who have served in the Armed Forces, have certain military specialties and relevant experience, will be subject to conscription for military service. Those called up for military service before being sent to units will without fail undergo additional military training, taking into account the experience of a special military operation,” Novaya Gazeta Europe quotes the President of Russia.
The mobilization decree signed by Putin contains few details – in fact, the Ministry of Defense itself will decide who, from where, and in what numbers to send to the front.
First, reservists will be mobilized – men who have served in the army and signed contracts to be in the reserves. Second, men who have served in the army and are listed in the reserves under certain specialties.
As many as 300,000 men may be called up, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said. If more is needed, the decree allows the mobilization of an unlimited number of conscripts.
The Russian publication Respublika published an interview with a military expert, former Commander-in-Chief of the Latvian Land Forces Igor Raev, about how mobilization in Russia can affect the course of hostilities in Ukraine.
—Does Russia have the chance for a new successful offensive, given the mobilization?
—Yes. If they mobilize they will have the opportunity to advance, because it will seriously change the balance of power in their favor. In fact this is no longer news – everyone is talking about the fact that Russia needs infantry. And if it happens, the situation can really change.
Moreover, mobilization will not be carried out suddenly – some kind of provocation will be organized: an “attack” on Belgorod, the killing of civilians, blowing up buildings, and the like.
But all this is only theoretical. Mobilization itself will be problematic.
Russia has difficulties with weapons, difficulties with command staff – there will be difficulties with the assembly of units and the training of these units.
Moreover, most of the officers and sergeants are already in Ukraine. And the Russians are not mentally prepared for a serious war with really big losses.
—If the mobilization does take place, will Russia be able to defeat Ukraine?
“Militarily, it can do it. The problem is it won’t be able to control this territory. Because even if the armed forces of Ukraine lose in a military conflict, there will definitely be a guerrilla war in the country. There are 44 million people in Ukraine. This means that at least a million and a half men are needed, which must constantly be on its territory and for a very long time. I don’t think it’s real.
— What do the Ukrainians need to continue the counteroffensive?
—Additional parts and additional weapons. Most likely the equipment Western countries have recently supplied to Ukraine, all 280 tanks, most of the artillery, definitely all MLRS and HIMARS, were involved in Kharkiv. If Ukraine is thinking of advancing, it needs even more.
HIMARS helped in the offensive near Kherson, and MLRS near Balakliya, but for this to have a more serious effect, the number of these must be increased. They can duel with Russian artillery, but so far they have not been able to suppress Russian artillery.
At the moment Ukraine has enough soldiers, its army is still larger than the Russian, I mean the one that is fighting in Ukraine. But if the Ukrainians received 50 planes, and preferably 100, and they had pilots who could effectively control these planes, this would seriously change the situation at the front. The weapons that are coming in now are enough to contain Russia, but not enough to inflict a serious military defeat.
In addition, it is critical that winter is approaching. The viability of the energy infrastructure in the cities and towns of Ukraine will play a very serious role. If the Russians paralyze this, Ukraine will have a much harder time. Therefore Ukraine must be provided with economic and financial support – without this, it will not be able to actively continue this war.