Kremlin struggling to bolster Russian military, Washington says

Kremlin struggling to bolster Russian military, says Washington


The Russian army is struggling to recruit in the midst of the conflict with Ukraine, seeking volunteers even in prisons, to the point that new recruits are often “old, in bad shape and poorly trained said a senior Pentagon official on Monday. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin last week ordered a 10 percent increase in Russian military strength, or some 137,000 soldiers by January 2023.

But “this effort is unlikely to be successful,” the official, who requested anonymity, told reporters, explaining that the Russian military has historically struggled to meet its recruitment targets.

< p>The United States estimates that the strength of the Russian army was 150,000 below the stated goal of one million troops in February 2022, before the invasion of Ukraine.

< p>Since then, Russia has tried to send professional soldiers to the front rather than conscripts, but the conflict is costly in terms of human and material resources. 

“Russia has already started to recruit more to form at least one battalion of volunteers per district and to raise a Third Army Corps”, she underlined. “They did this by removing the age limit for new recruits and also by recruiting prisoners.”

“It was observed that many of these new recruits were old, in bad shape and poorly trained,” she concluded. “All of this suggests that the new recruits that Russia may attract by the end of the year will not bolster the country's fighting power.”

After failing to take Kyiv early in intervention, Russian forces are now concentrating their efforts in eastern and southern Ukraine, where the front lines have moved little in recent weeks.

The Kremlin has so far been careful not to carry out a general mobilization, a measure feared by many Russians.