Ukraine-Russia, Moscow’s plan: another 400,000 men at war

This is what we read in confidential documents of the CIA, part of the leak

Russian officials are busy trying to recruit hundreds of thousands of men for the war in Ukraine while avoiding a new, surely unpopular mobilization. But at the same time there is growing concern about the lack of civilian workforce. That’s what we read in confidential CIA documents, part of the online leak, of which young National Guardsman Jack Texeira is accused.

According to one of the documents, writes the Washington Post, Russian President Vladimir Putin approved in mid-February the military’s proposal to quietly recruit 400,000 more men over the course of 2023. To shelter Putin and the Kremlin from popular discontent, we read in another document, the plan requires regional governors to organize recruitment campaigns and continue to draw on prisons. The goal is to recruit 415,000 men, “300,000 of whom will go to the reserve and 115,000 to form new units or reinforce others”, notes the intelligence, based on the estimate of a deficit “of 50,000 fighters and 40,000 reservists” in the Russian forces in Ukraine .

But some economic officials oppose this strategy because it would aggravate the workforce shortage, the most serious in the last 20 years, due to the war and the flight abroad of many skilled workers. Alarms in this sense have come from the Russian Central Bank and the Gaidar economic policy institute.

Russia kicked off the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 with 150,000 troops, according to Western intelligence estimates. With the partial mobilization in September, 300,000 were recalled, to which must be added 50,000 from the Wagner group and an unknown number of people forcibly enrolled in the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. The United States, the documents said, estimates that the Russians had 189,500-223,000 casualties, with at least 43,000 killed.

Moscow has never released official data on the number of men deployed and that on losses, 5,937 dead, released in September, is considered far below the truth. Various estimates, writes the Post, believe that about half of the 500,000 conscripts and those deployed in the last 15 months are still available. However, the documents reveal that even the Russian services of the FSB believe that the Defense is hiding the number of dead. Their assessment, it says, is “the number of Russians wounded or killed in action approaches 110,000.”