The first recruited reservists have begun to get on the buses heading to the war in Ukraine The number of reservists that Moscow could mobilize is not yet clear, although it has been estimated at 300,000, some sources point to up to a million The country does not have the means or the the time needed to train reservists for the attack In his first address to the nation since announcing the Russian “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24, Vladimir Putin ordered an immediate military mobilization on Wednesday. A day later, the citizens called up, with a maximum age of 50, have begun to say goodbye to their families to start a period of instruction before going to the front. The images of the bus stations, where citizens without military experience are forced to separate from their families, show the harsh reality of this new measure. But not all recruits are willing to fight. Thousands of Russians form queues at the various border crossings to flee the country while others flee abroad by plane, but the Kremlin is determined to deny this reality. At his daily press conference, Russian spokesman Dmitri Peskov said, “Reports that there is some noise at airports are greatly exaggerated.” Number of reservists The number of reservists that Moscow could mobilize is not yet clear, although the Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, has estimated that 300,000 reservists will receive military training in the face of the counteroffensive. The mobilization will affect 1.1 percent of the 25 million in the country. Russia would first recruit soldiers up to 35 years old and non-commissioned officers up to 45, as stated by the chairman of the State Duma Defense Committee, Andrei Kartapolov. But the decree on mobilization of Russian President Vladimir Putin, intended for internal use, presents a much higher figure, according to the Russian daily Novaya Gazeta quoted by the Kyiv Independent. This decree establishes Moscow’s intention to recruit up to one million people. This Wednesday Dmitri Peskov stated that this paragraph indicates the number of people who can be recruited into the army, although hours later he has denied that Russia is going to call a million people. Trouble Recruiting Reservists Regardless of how many troops Russia can recruit, the reality is that the country does not have the means or the time to train reservists for the attack. “The Russian military is currently not equipped to rapidly and effectively deploy 300,000 reservists,” said Alex Lord, a strategic analysis specialist at Sibylline. According to Lord: “Russia is struggling to effectively equip its professional forces in Ukraine, after significant equipment losses during the war,” Lord said. The latest Ukrainian offensive, in which kyiv has recaptured thousands of square meters of territory , has meant significant losses for Russia. The Institute for the Study of War said earlier this week that Russia had lost 50% to 90% of its strength in some units due to the recent offensive. Considering all these losses, preparing the soldiers in such a short time would be impossible. According to experts, even if Russia had all the equipment, weapons and motivation it needs, it would be impossible to quickly train 300,000 soldiers for battle.
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