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ISW: “The specter of limitless Russian manpower is a myth”

by The Kyiv Independent news desk February 27, 2023 8:34 AM 1 min read
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The Institute for the Study of War said Russia will face increasing costs to replace its losses in the latest report on Russian forces’ recruitment campaigns on Feb. 26.

The D.C.-based think tank estimated that Russia “likely began to run out of combat-ready forces” in May 2022, forcing Russian dictator Vladimir Putin to resort to various mobilization strategies.

Then, he chose to rely on the volunteer recruitment efforts by the ultranationalist groups, such as Task Force Rusich and the Russian Imperial Movement, instead of the involuntary reserve call-up.

Following Ukraine’s September counteroffensive, Putin declared partial mobilization to complement the voluntary recruitment efforts.

Due to limited success of voluntary recruits and the increasing need for reserve call-ups, “Putin may find himself facing another dilemma after another wave or two of reserve call-ups, as the pool of reservists appropriate for front-line fighting is finite,” according to the report.

This analysis matches the earlier ISW assessments, which said Russia is “unlikely to overcome fundamental structural challenges” with mobilization as costs mount.

ISW: Russia has exhausted recruitment pool of peripheral and disenfranchised regions, may turn to central Russia
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