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Russian Mobilization Could Prolong War, Experts Say

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The mobilization announced last Wednesday Vladimir Putin could prolong the war in ukrainewithout altering the situation on the ground, according to US experts concerned about the nuclear threat wielded by Moscow, which they however consider probably useless.

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The Russian president proclaimed the mobilization on Wednesday “partial” of 300,000 reservists – far more than the 190,000 soldiers deployed to invade Ukraine in February – after a series of military setbacks in Donbas and the Kharkov region in the east of the country.

According to Western experts, it will be difficult for the Russian army to mobilize so many people and new recruits will arrive on the battlefield poorly trained and unmotivated.

“They won’t be able to do it right”said Dara Massicot, a Russia expert at the Rand Corporation research center.

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“They are going to round up people and send them to the front lines with outdated training, incompetent leadership, and equipment in even worse shape than active duty forces.”he added on Twitter.

insufficient training

But for Michael Kofman, of the Center for a New American Security think tank, the risk that the arrival of fresh Russian troops on the front lines should not minimize an already deadly conflict.

“This could extend Russia’s ability to continue this war, but without changing its course or its outcome.”he declared on Wednesday, estimating that Ukraine will retain its edge on the battlefield.

An opinion shared by Rob Lee, of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, for whom there are still numerous “reasons to be optimistic for Ukraine”whose army has shown discipline and courage since the war began, unlike the demoralized and undisciplined Russian forces.

Specialists agree on the poor quality of Russian military training, regularly limited to a few weeks, with little equipment.

“The problem is that the Russian army is poorly led and poorly trained”said former General Mark Hertling, former commander of US ground forces in Europe. “Mobilizing 300,000 reservists after having failed with exhausted conventional forces and heteroclite militias, after having recruited prisoners and used paramilitaries like the Wagner group, will be very difficult”.

“And deploying ‘rookies’ on a shattered front line, where morale is rock bottom and soldiers don’t want to be, portends a new disaster”he tweeted, before adding that it is a “new sign of Russia’s weakness”.

Nuclear lantern?

More worrying for Westerners: Putin said he was willing to use “All the means” of his arsenal before the West, which he accused of wanting “destroy” to Russia.

A threat considered “a streetlight” by John Spencer of the Madison Policy Forum. “The use of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons would mean the end of the Putin regime and of Russia in its current form”I note.

Other analysts noted that Russia’s nuclear doctrine appears to have changed, wondering if it will now apply to Ukrainian territories that Moscow wants to annex.

According to Andrey Baklitskiy of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, Putin’s statements “they go beyond the Russian nuclear doctrine, which simply suggests that Russia use it first in a conventional war if the very existence of the state is threatened”.

“Coming from the man who is the only one who decides on the use of nuclear weapons in Russia, it must be taken seriously”he tweeted.

Nuclear weapons expert Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists considered that by threatening to use the nuclear weapon beyond official Russian policy, “Putin shows his desperation”.

“But it is clearly the most explicit nuclear threat that Putin has ever made”he adds. “It is essential that NATO does not take the bait and fuel its false accusations with explicit threats of nuclear retaliation.”

In fact, the United States said to take “really” Putin’s threats, but tried not to exacerbate tensions. “A nuclear war cannot be won and should never be fought,” declared President Joe Biden in a speech at the UN.

Source: Gestion

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