Russia Lacks ‘Munitions and Military Equipment’ to Rebuild Combat Power: UK

Russian Defence Ministry Press Service via AP

Russia cannot rebuild its “combat power” with fresh personnel alone, according to British intelligence, due to a lack of ammunition and military materiel.

In a Ministry of Defence (MoD) intelligence update focused primarily on the Kremlim’s reported efforts to recruit 400,000 volunteers, the British suggested that manpower alone would not be sufficient to rebuild Russian “combat power”, with the sprawling nation requiring “more munitions and military equipment supplies than it currently has available” to complement any increase in personnel.

The MoD also said that, in any case, it was “highly unlikely” that the supposed recruitment drive, which they pulled from “Russian media reporting”, would manage to “attract 400,000 genuine volunteers” — although they did concede that the supposed target might be hit via underhanded methods.

“Russia is presenting the campaign as a drive for volunteer, professional personnel, rather than a new, mandatory mobilisation,” the British ministry explained, suggesting that there was “a realistic possibility that in practice this distinction will be blurred, and that regional authorities will try to meet their allocated recruitment targets by coercing men to join up.”

It has previously been reported that the Russian authorities are offering a range of new inducements to prospective recruits, with officials in the Yaroslavl region, for example, promising volunteers a sign-up bonus worth the equivalent of around $3,800 to sign up, $2,500 a month for service in Ukraine plus an additional $100 a day for “involvement in active offensive operations,” and another $650 for “each kilometre of advancement within assault teams.”

There is widespread speculation that the authorities have turned to such recruitment methods so they can avoid another so-called “partial mobilisation” — a tactic the Kremlin resorted to in order to boost its forces by some 300,000 last year, but one which was executed at times chaotically and which drove tens of thousands of men who presumably feared being sent to the front to flee the country.

The Ministry of Defence has also suggested that Russia is seeking to widen conscription by the beginning of next year — although it will not “widen” in the technical sense, but rather apply to males aged from aged 21-30 rather than the current 18-27, which may make it somewhat harder to for people to claim exemptions due to being in full-time education.

At present, conscripts are not supposed to be deployed to Ukraine — although some have been sent to the front, supposedly in error — but the MoD believes that, even if this remains the case, a larger number of conscripts would result in more career servicemen being freed up to go into battle.

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