Nearing 500,000 soldiers lost, Russia eyes another mobilization

Russian military
Russian military

As Russia nears a half million soldiers lost in its war of aggression on Ukraine, the country could be looking at a new mobilization, the Financial Times reported on May 24, citing a source close to the Russian Defense Ministry.

Russia's 2022 mobilization is simply insufficient if it hopes to maintain its frontline offensives, even with the contract soldiers, convicts, and suspects in criminal cases that the country has been using to avoid another mobilization.

Moscow may soon need to go beyond its current creative recruitment strategies if it wants to retain its battlefield advantage.

Read also: Russia may conduct mobilization more openly after ‘re-election’ - Ukrainian intelligence

"The government can continue using this system for a while longer,” the FT source said.

“By the end of this year or early next year, a new wave of partial mobilization will become inevitable."

While the Kremlin is currently avoiding another wave of mobilization, a significant Russian offensive this summer will be impossible, the source added.

Read also: Russia can mobilize 30,000 troops monthly – UA’s intell chief

"At least for now, Russian authorities are still willing to sacrifice some operational successes on the front to protect the rest of society from the war," the FT source said.

New mobilization in Russia

Former Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu announced plans on Dec. 19, 2023, to increase the armed forces' size to 1.5 million personnel.

He also mentioned the aim to boost the number of contract soldiers to 745,000 by the end of the year.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will initiate a new wave of mobilization and intensify attacks on the front after the sham elections (held March 15-17 - ed.), Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister, Lieutenant General Ivan Havryliuk, said on March 18.

Read also: Number of mobilized Russians fleeing military units reportedly spikes

Ukraine's Defense Intelligence also believes that a more overt mobilization effort will take place following Russia's presidential "election".

Russia will enhance mobilization in the temporarily occupied territories after gathering information about the population during the sham elections, the Southern Defense Forces said.

Russia mobilizes approximately 30,000 new troops each month for the war against Ukraine, British intelligence reported on March 30.

Read also: Russia's “corpse conscription” means Ukraine is always outnumbered but values life – Zelenskyy

Russia announced its latest spring conscription on April 1, which will be aimed at Russian aged 18 to 30. The plan is to draft 150,000 conscripts by July 15.

This process might be linked to hidden mobilization efforts in Russia, analysts at the Institute for the Study of War believe.

Russia is preparing to start an additional mobilization of 300,000 troops by June 1, 2024, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on April 3.

Read also: British intelligence predicts Russia to establish two new armies in 2024, foresees supply challenges

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