Putin’s Conscription May Be Repeating Failure in Ukraine


Russian President Vladimir V. Putin’s decision to mobilize 300,000 reservists could just be reinforcing the failure, Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said during an announcement today.

Putin has called up 300,000 Russian reserve soldiers for his unjust and unprovoked war on Ukraine. He also indirectly hit his nuclear weapon.

His action follows a Ukrainian counteroffensive which drove Russian forces out of Kharkiv and liberated more than 3,000 square miles of Ukrainian territory. In August, DOD Policy Chief Colin Kahl said the Russians have lost between 100,000 and 70,000 military personnel in its war on Ukraine.

The Russian president’s mobilisation “would primarily be reservists or members of the Russian military that had retired,” Ryder stated.

They are not the same as reserve units in the United States. The reserve components in the U.S. military are trained and ready to move in short weeks or days, if required.

According to the Russian model they are those who have completed their service commitment and are being called 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 have revealed serious command and control problems 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 Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv in March and in the Russian inability to make any progress in the Donbas region in April.

The mobilisation “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 the approximately 100,000 troops they have in Ukraine adding 300,000 additional soldiers to their ranks isn’t going to make the situation 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 will continue to maintain an open and thorough conversation with Ukrainian counterparts to understand the country’s needs. “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 background. If we look back in time a to the beginning, Russia invaded Ukraine and attempted to take over the entirety of Ukraine.

“They failed in that strategic objective, and so they scaled down the scope of their operational objectives,” he added. “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 is making an announcement on mobilization, sham referenda in captured areas of the Donbas or threats of attacking territories, “it doesn’t change the operational facts on the ground, which are that the Ukrainians will continue to fight for their country,” Ryder stated. “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.”