Russia, who are the reservists enlisted by Putin for the war

Overwhelmed by the Ukrainian counter-offensive and pressed by “War party” at home, the Russian army is perhaps experiencing its most difficult moment since the first days of the invasion. The huge losses suffered, the killing of generals, the large number of deserters and the desperate need for new soldiers to send to the front (we talked about it here) they pushed Vladimir Putin to decide for the partial mobilization (we have talked about here instead).

With this move, the Russian president calls the so-called to arms “Reservists”which can be involved in all military operational and combat activities (active reserve). Let’s talk about 300 thousand Russian citizenscalled to defend the fate of aspecial military operation launched on February 24 and which so far has not gone as planned.

Who are the Russian reservists

The first to pick up the rifle again could be soldiers and commanders under 35 and non-commissioned officers and officers under 45. We are therefore talking about people who have already had military experience. Mobilization, Putin explained, means that the citizens they are currently in the reserve they can be summoned and those with military experience would be subject to conscription. These individuals will undergo “a additional military trainingtaking into account the experience gained so far in the field “.

The reservists affected by the decree “are not people who have never heard of the army. We are talking about people who have served and who have had military experience ”, underlined the Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu. Men involved in partial mobilization will be trained by officers with combat experience in special military operations on Russian territory, before being sent to occupied Ukrainian regions (or “liberated”, if one adopts the perspective of Moscow). The decision to mobilize exactly 300,000 reservists was calculated “for the period of completion of the objectives that will be set”.

However, the decree does not specify the “partial” choice parameters or geographic coordinates. As it observes Ekaterina SchulmannRussian political scientist, according to the text “anyone can be enlisted, with the exception of the workers of the military-industrial complex “. And many fear that they will pay the highest price Ethnical minorities and the inhabitants of the most remote regions of the country. “It is not a partial mobilization, it is a 100% mobilization,” he says instead Alexandra Garmazhapovapresident of the Free Buryatia Foundation. According to the organization, 24 hours after Putin’s announcement, in the south-central region of Siberia more than three thousand have been delivered povestka (recruitment cards).

What is partial mobilization

It was since the Second World War that a great power did not call its citizens en masse to the front (gas, oil, grain, weapons: what are Putin’s tricks up his sleeve). A sign of the times, made even more worrying by terrible precedents on Russian soil such as the partial mobilization soon transformed into “general” by Tsar Nicholas II in 1914 against Austria-Hungary. The Kremlin’s decision betrays an urgency and growing discontent on the domestic front with the work of the president, including the so-called “war party”.

The partial mobilization ordered by the Kremlin decree concerns little more than1% of the total mobilization resource (25 million). Partial mobilization differs greatly from general mobilization, which instead would affect all men of military age, between 18 and 65, who would suddenly become enlisted to fight on Ukrainian soil. This route was instead traveled byUkrainewhich already the day after the invasion (February 25) had issued a decree for the general mobilization: all citizens of fighting age, between 18 and 60 years, could no longer leave the country and had to make themselves available to fight.

How much is the “pay” of the reservists

According to reports from the Tass agency, the reservists will be disbursed 50 thousand rubles (about 830 euros) monthly extras. This is established by a decree of the mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobjanin. In case of serious injuries, it will be paid one million rubleswhile in the event of death, families will receive compensation from three million rubles.

How the war changes

According to most observers, despite the Kremlin propaganda, the mobilization should not have immediate repercussions on the conflict in Ukraine for a number of logistical, recruiting and training problems to be resolved before being able to take advantage of the new staff.

Russia is also embroiled in increasingly vibrant protests against Putin’s decision, which has already led to thousands of arrests (Russia rebels against Putin: what happens and what we risk). Arrests that, in many cases, have offered the Kremlin another small recruiting pool: several young people demonstrating in Russian squares would have ended up directly at the recruiting office. The spokesman for the Kremlin, Dmitry Peskovhe did not deny, emphasizing indeed that this “is not against the law”.

The structure of the Russian army

The Russian army presents a hybrid structure, which combines a traditional cadre and reserve recruitment system and a professional contract system. Despite several reforms to professionally position the personnel, the Russian Armed Forces remain dependent on conscripts, both for its active duty force and for reserve forces in case of general mobilization. Most combat units must be replenished by conscripts or mobilized reservists to be used in the field. THE contract soldiers instead they are concentrated in cadres and elite units, particularly in airborne ones.

The reserves of the Russian Armed Forces are maintained with a limited number of regulars and conscripts, with the expectation that they would be equipped with reservists in the event of a mobilization. Moscow has already used many units of cadres and reserves in Ukraine, but suffered heavy losses.

In detail, the Russian army plans to recruit every six months, with the autumn lever which runs from October 1st to December 31st and the spring lever which runs from April 1st to July 15th. Russian conscripts usually remain in service for a year, with an annual conscription pool of all Russian men of military age nearly 1.2 million peoplealthough only about half are required to report to the local military commissariat (voenkomat).

New conscripts receive a basic training one to two months, followed by three to six months of advanced training before being deployed to assigned units. Russian law prohibits conscripts from taking up combat with less than four months of training.

Putin’s great military reform

In the 2008 Putin initiated a military reform, the “Novyj Oblik” (“New Look”), defined by many experts as “the largest of the last century”. The Russian military undergoes a profound transformation to respond as quickly as possible to the threats Putin warns as “imminent”: streamlines the chain of command (skipping division and regiment and moving from 4 to 3: military district, army, brigade) and the military districts (passed from 6 to 4: central, southern, western and eastern). Size units and actuals (-90% for land units, passed from 1,890 to 172) e drastically reduces the number of officers, from the generals (-21%) to the majors (-75%) with the only exception of the lieutenants, who instead increased from 50 thousand to 60 thousand. But, above all, it revolutionizes the training of soldiers. Fewer men learn better and are better equipped.

It is not just a question of economic sustainability: the previous mass mobilization paid less attention to the individual soldier, who thus did not keep up with the times and was unable to use increasingly advanced weapons. And there is no better way to learn than to take to the battlefield. Hence the numerous and nefarious exercises and special military operations that have destabilized the world and revealed to the world an often underestimated truth: Russian soldiers are just soldiers.

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About Banner Leon

Videogames entered his life in the late '80s, at the time of the first meeting with Super Mario Bros, and even today they make it a permanent part, after almost 30 years. Pros and defects: he manages to finish Super Mario Bros in less than 5 minutes but he has never finished Final Fight with a credit ... he's still trying.

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