“Partial mobilization” in the Russian Federation will not affect the course of the war in the coming months, reports the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW)
It is noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of “partial mobilization” on September 21 reflected many of the problems that Russia is facing in the course of its uncertain invasion of Ukraine, and which Moscow is unlikely to be able to solve in the coming months.
Putin’s order to mobilize a part of Russia’s “trained” reserve, that is, people who have completed mandatory military service, will not create a significant Russian fighting force in the coming months. This may be enough to maintain the current level of Russian armed forces in 2023 by compensating for Russian losses, although this is not obvious.
Partial mobilization, thus, will not deprive Ukraine of the opportunity to liberate more of its occupied territory in the winter and throughout the winter.
It is not clear how much of the Russian reserve has already been transferred to hostilities in Ukraine.
The Russian military probably called up the most combat-capable reserves during that pre-war mobilization, suggesting that the current partial mobilization will begin with the involvement of less combat-capable personnel from the outset. Russian reservists are initially poorly trained and do not undergo retraining after the end of the term of conscription. Compulsory military service in Russia lasts only one year, which gives conscripts little time for training. Failure to retrain after this initial period accelerates the degradation of acquired soldiering skills over time. Few Russian reservists, apart from those currently serving in Ukraine, have combat experience.