The U.K. Defense Ministry said in its intelligence briefing on Nov. 5 that Russia is struggling to provide military training for its current mobilization drive and its annual fall conscription intake.
“Newly mobilized conscripts likely have minimal training or no training at all,” the ministry said, adding that Russia has also sent experienced officers and trainers to the war but “some have likely been killed.”
The intelligence assessment comes a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that his country had conscripted 318,000 citizens and that 49,000 of them are already on the front line.
A growing number of reports have suggested that newly mobilized conscripts are sent to the battlefield without adequate training or necessary equipment, thus suffering a high mortality rate.
Earlier in November, independent Russian news outlet Novaya Gazeta confirmed the deaths of at least 100 newly mobilized soldiers. According to Novaya Gazeta, every fifth of them never reached the front line – their causes of death were fights, alcohol, drugs, suicide, and accidents.
Moscow’s draft campaign began on Sept. 21 following Putin’s declaration of what he called “a partial mobilization” of up to 300,000 reservist forces. The campaign, likely announced in a desperate move to boost Russia’s stalled war progress in Ukraine after suffering humiliating military defeats, was heavily criticized both domestically and by the West.