Igor Girkin, or Strelkov, an ex-FSB officer and former defense minister of the self-proclaimed DPR:
“We will wait for mobilization, although it is not a fact that during the mobilization they will take me directly and call me into the army. And there will be mobilization in any case, because this war will be long and hard. We have not the best stage of it ahead of us. After some time, very soon, the enemy will receive a significant numerical superiority both in the number of personnel and in the number of units and formations that he has, combat-ready over our armed forces and attached units. After some time (in a month and a half, somewhere like that, I can be wrong in one direction or another), I predict the beginning of active offensive operations of the enemy both in Ukraine and in Transnistria, and on the territory of the Russian Federation, including. At first, these will be the actions of raid, sabotage and reconnaissance groups, then more serious ones.
Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov said there were no plans to announce mobilization in the country.
“At the moment, no, this is out of the question,” he commented, answering a question about the introduction of mobilization in Russia. (Vedomosti, September 13, 2022).
Almost immediately after the start of the so-called special operation on the territory of Ukraine, there was talk of mobilization in Russia, both within the country and abroad. Still, the Russian contingents involved in the fighting are not very large. Of course, there is no official data, but experts often cite figures of about 200 thousand people. Obviously, this is not enough for a decisive offensive, provided that this is not a sharp attack and blitzkrieg of the first days, but a protracted operation. Plus, the army suffers losses, they need to be replenished. Plus, the Ukrainian army is supplied with weapons from the West, and this is also a serious problem for the Russian authorities and the army. Igor Strelkov from the first days of the “non-war” declared that mobilization was necessary. Since the end of April, the Western press has been full of news that Putin will announce a mass mobilization around May 9, but Putin did not announce it.
The month of September, the failure of the Russian troops near Kharkov, the mass retreat (sorry, of course, the regrouping) and a new wave of talk about the need for mobilization. Grandpa Zyuganov speaks about this already from the pulpit of the State Duma. Later, however, his assistant would say that Gennady Andreevich had something else in mind, and those who did not understand should be shot.
They brought to Ukraine all the dirt, all the weapons, all the special services, their mercenaries, and they are trying to turn the tide in favor of the Nazis, fascists, Bandera followers. Not a single normal person in our country can agree with such a development of events. But any war requires a response, foremost - the maximum mobilization of forces and resources, the cohesion of society and a clear definition of the main priorities.
The question of mobilization is actually paramount and complex, and just today we will try to sort it out. How did the Russian government find itself between a rock and a hard place? Why is Soviet-style mobilization no longer possible? How to elegantly dispose of excess labor and even prisoners? That's all we're going to talk about today. Let's go.
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So, my friends, when will we all be sent to bring peace and kindness to the territory of Ukraine? At a superficial glance, mobilization, at least partial, would be the easiest and surest option, especially after the situation near Kharkov, when Russian troops left significant territories. But no, Putin consistently declares that there is no talk of mobilization. The Federation Council echoes him. And in fact, this is an absolutely justified position from the point of view of the authorities. It has real reasons and, by the way, even original substitutes for mobilization. So, the first and main moment is the structure and organization of the Russian army. It would be wrong to say that no one in the Russian army knows how to fight, or the technologies are fit for nothing. No, the question is rather in the format of the Russian military units themselves. I will now say something that is actually banal, but for some reason not obvious to many: the army is not just a bunch of people. The army is a gigantic organizational and technical machine. Soldiers, in order not to be banal cannon fodder, must have a little bit of training, combat skills. There must be an impressive officer corps to manage the mass of soldiers. At the same time, it would be nice if the officers were also knowledgeable, trained, educated people. The army must have equipment, uniforms, weapons, and preferably more than one Model 1891/1930 Mosin rifle to share among three. The army must have a gigantic branched infrastructure: command posts, troop deployment points, airfields, naval bases, missile positions, communications systems, warehouses and a shitload of stuff.
Moreover, this system should be precisely designed for mass mobilization, that is, for accommodating, moving, and feeding a huge additional number of people. And you probably already understand what I'm getting at: of course, the Russian armed force have all of these things, but not at all on the scale that is necessary for mass mobilization. Why? Well, this, of course, is the “invisible hand of the market”.
6:54 Eduard Basurin, representative of the DPR military formations:
We steal for the Fatherland.
- A clause instead of “We are fighting for the Fatherland”
Decades of reforms have created a veritable gulf between the army of Soviet and Russian models. The Soviet army, of course, was cumbersome, numerous, requiring constant gigantic financial injections, but it was it that was designed for the "Arise, Great Country!" scheme, in which millions, and in extreme cases, tens of millions of people can be mobilized in the shortest possible time. In schools - initial military training (now, by the way, it is formally also available, but in reality it is not). Numerous military educational institutions that train personnel, periodic military training, a sufficient amount of equipment. Moreover, the military industry was generally independent of external influences: all components were Soviet. Working infrastructure, and, damn it, even so many food supplies that they were consumed throughout the nineties. But the Soviet Union was gone, the devastation of the 90s, it was expensive to maintain the whole thing - well, off we go to reform. The Russian armed forces have been deliberately dismantling the Soviet mobilization system for thirty years, reforming in the framework of two tasks. The first is the creation of highly mobile units for expeditionary wars, and the second is the maintenance and modernization of the nuclear shield. Well, you understand, right? Big wars like World War II are allegedly impossible. To fight somewhere in Syria, we do not need to maintain an infrastructure for 3 million army. Well, what would we bother with that for? In extreme cases, it is possible to solve certain tasks, such as defending the interests of Russian capital in Africa, with the help of private military companies. By the way, we talked about this in one of the old videos (the link will be on the screen and in the description). Well, if someone attacks us - our nuclear shield is here to help us!
“Former Russian senior officials and analysts interviewed by the RAND Corporation in 2017 unanimously rejected the idea of orienting the Russian armed forces towards waging large ground wars with peers. A decade of reform and modernization has allowed the military to effectively conduct limited expeditionary operations, while modernization at the other end of the spectrum has kept Russia's strategic nuclear forces secure on land, in the air, and in sea bastions. The Russian military leadership appears to regard the prospect of a major conventional war as unlikely.
Without an operational reserve, Russian forces are more vulnerable than NATO forces in a protracted conflict. If Russia finds itself embroiled in a major conventional war, it will only be able to fight with the military forces that Moscow has at the time the conflict starts. The "hordes" of the Red Army are long gone, and the current personnel system has not yet created a reliable replacement ... ".
Research by RAND Corporation
And in principle, it is even logical to a certain extent. But there really is a problem with the reserve: evidently, there are people in the Russian Ministry of Defense who have understood the country's vulnerability from this side. The situation was well described by one of the telegram channels.
“Over the past 15 years, the Russian Defense Ministry has been trying to create a reserve of 80-100 thousand people. It was exactly that attempt - there was not enough money, organizational resources, and maybe even desire to create a reserve.
The result is that the number of people in Russia who could be considered full-fledged reservists, ranges from 4 to 5 thousand people.
In 2021, an attempt was made to create a system of contract reservists ("BARS" ) . For example, in the Southern Military District it was planned to create a reserve of 38 thousand people - as a result, only a little more than a thousand were recruited. Or here is an illustrative example of the city of Novokuznetsk - the local commissariat planned to get 250 reservists on a contract - as a result, only 20 were recruited.
Further, according to interesting figures, less than 10% of conscripts undergo any kind of retraining within 5 years after the end of their service. This means a very simple thing - the vast majority of former military personnel in the Russian Federation for years and decades have not had the opportunity to practice within the framework of their military registration specialties. These are people who do not have any sustainable practical experience in handling weapons, military equipment, without any physical training.
In a word, not the people who can be considered a "military reserve."
In such circumstances, mass mobilization is simply impossible, even partial mobilization is extremely unlikely. No, you can, of course, gather a bunch of people, give them sticks, for example, and send them to storm the heights on which the enemy is entrenched. It's simple, that's according to the precepts of Nikita Mikhalkov [* this is a reference to Burnt by the Sun 3: The Citadel, a 2011 Russian language film directed by N. Mikhalkov, the film takes place in 1943 during the height of the Great Patriotic War], but the rationale of such exercises, to put it mildly, is doubtful. Unless, of course, a spider or a sunbeam intervenes in this story [*this is a reference to scenes from the same film]
However, scenarios with total or partial mobilization clearly have other disadvantages. Even if you build an express training system and infrastructure quick and dirty, firstly, this will cause discontent among the population. For the most part, young people do not support the special operation anyway, and those citizens who support it often perceive it all as such a football match. Sitting in the trenches or sending their children there is not in their plans. Plus, war, they say, often sobers up people. And from this follows another minus of the mobilization scenarios for the authorities: to give weapons into the hands of a mass of not very trustworthy people is an extremely doubtful thing. Whatever else, but the story of the Petrograd garrison in 1917 is what the native Leningrader Putin learned very well back in Soviet times.
So, what to do? They still gotta recruit people somehow.
13:03 Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of the Russian news TV network RT:
If we back off, no one else will back off, except us. If we don't back off, they can back off, but if we do it, they won't do it.
13:15 Rudoy :
And they really do it, damnit! Necessity is the mother of invention, as you know.
Under such conditions, the actions of the Ministry of Defense are more than logical and correct. It followed the path of expanding the staff of contract volunteers. This provides a rather small influx of reinforcements, and the army has the opportunity to select the highest quality personnel in terms of physical readiness, experience, knowledge, organize minimal training and evenly distribute them among units. Despite a number of shortcomings, this approach does not create an organizational collapse, which could have a much more detrimental effect on the course of hostilities than a shortage of personnel in the units of the active army. Atomic cherry.
Both conscripts after several months of service, as well as cadres living in civilian life, can enroll in contract service. And here I can say that I underestimated the Russian government. Remember the video about the special operation, sanctions and unemployment? Remember, a few months ago I simply didn’t know what the Kremlin’s puppeteers would do with the redundant, dismissed, with a huge mass of shift workers who were simply left without earnings this year due to the subsidence of the economy? No, really, now I must applaud the guys from the Kremlin, from the Ministry of Defense - I don’t know who gives birth to these brilliant plans. After all, they figured out how to competently and elegantly dispose of excess labor, and even so that it benefits them.
14:43 Comedy line:
Whoever hinders us will help us!
In the Russian provinces, announcements appeared: "You will receive 250,000, come to us, dear friend. You will also receive all sorts of goodies, and if you die, there will be payments to your family." And after all, we all understand that for the outback, 250,000 is a lot of money, especially when someone has a family, has financial difficulties, and the wife is a total bitch. In a word, let's have a listen to Dmitry Kiselyov's News of the Week, watch Yuri Podolyaka's vlog and, with a clear conscience, go to earn money. Moreover, the State Duma decided to allow fathers with many children to join the armed forces at will. That is, it was basically impossible to do this before, but now it is possible. So, parents from large families who have patriotic aspirations, but do not have money, can go and earn. Well, why not? A great option! But, as you understand, the most ingenious substitute for mobilization is the conscription of prisoners to the private military company Wagner. Damn, they've been watching way too many Mikhalkov's war movies! A couple of weeks ago, a video circulated around the Internet, where a person very similar to Yevgeny Prigozhin campaigns in the penal colony to join the Wagner PMC, fight and, thus, deserve an amnesty.
16:01 A person who looks like Yevgeny Prigozhin:
The first prisoners who fought together with me (it was June 1, the assault on the Ugledarskaya CHPP) - 40 people from St. Petersburg, strict regime, repeat offenders. 40 people went into the trenches of the enemy and killed them with knives. We lost three men killed and seven wounded. One of those three killed was 52 years old, he did thirty years. He died as a hero. We are attentive to those who convicted under article 228 [*Illegal acquisition, storage, distribution, manufacture, processing of narcotic drugs], solely on the basis of whether there was an addiction or not. If there are issues, we reserve the right to make a decision. So far we are preparing to pick you up, polygraph and ask questions about how stable the person being tested is. We watch sex offenders carefully, but we understand that mistakes may happen. Who do we need? We only need stormtroopers. 60 percent of my guys are stormtroopers and you will be one of them. You will be no different from us. The attitude towards you is the same, sometimes even more favorable than to those who have been fighting with me for many years and who have been through dozens of wars. I have got fire support platoons and other units that provide an offensive, several types of aircraft in my PMC. There are MLRSs, there are tanks, there is everything that is necessary in order to be effective. Obviously, those who give back and do not understand what to do can easily get into a mess.
After I tell you everything, there will be an interview. I will be there for a short time, then there will be several people who will talk to each of you for two or three hours, look into your eyes, and ask a few questions. As for all the dead, the bodies are taken to the place that you indicate in your will, to your relatives, or buried where you say. Everyone is buried in the alley of heroes in those cities where it is. Who does not know where to be buried, will be buried near the chapel of PMC Wagner in Goryachiy Klyuch. Then, after six months, you will go home, having received a pardon. Those who want to stay with us stay with us, so there are no options to return to the colony. Those who come and see on the first day, “I am in the wrong place”, get a notation “deserter”, and after that execution follows.
When the Internet was blown up with this story, Prigozhin himself commented on the situation as follows: “Those who don’t want PMCs and prisoners to fight, who don’t want to talk about this topic, who don’t want to do anything and who don’t like this topic in principle, can send their children to the front… Either PMCs and prisoners, or your children - decide for yourself."
And you know what the funniest thing is? That Mr. Prigozhin is actually right. Such a micromobilization is a kind of replacement for classical mobilization. This is a way to get, on the one hand, relatively small batches of people who can be more or less trained, retrained, armed, and who can be relatively easily controlled without shocking the system. And on the other hand, this is an opportunity not to escalate discontent in society and not to give weapons to this most dissatisfied society, while ensuring control over the situation. To lure people into PMCs, even, for example, dubious rap songs are used:
I am putting on my armor, the letter Z is on the chevron.
I've cleaned my chamber, I've checked my pistol.
I'll raze everything right to the ground.
I'm flying to fuck the Nazis.
Damn, people, you'd really better listen to Big Beria Tape, and not to all that stuff. However, now the situation has one more side, because very specific characters have already begun to return, who, shouting that everyone owes them everything, begin to simply create chaos. A man with a chevron, terribly similar to the chevron of PMC Wagner, attacked the employees of the National Guard in a Voronezh hotel. Four days ago, he returned from the DPR. The employees of the Russian Guard were called to the hotel because of the scandal that a man in military uniform named Andrey made. When the National Guard arrived at the scene, he began to quarrel even more. Andrey began to threaten one of the employees with sticking a club in the anus and constantly asked a rhetorical question: "Do you know who I am?", And also said that he was protecting your country. At the same time, he has a chevron on his shoulder, very similar to the chevron of Wagner PMC. Andrey himself stated that his call sign was Marlin, he was from the special group of the 136th regiment. Judging by the video, Andrey still hit the employee, and a second later he was thrown to the floor, beaten with batons and kicked, and then handcuffed. However, after that, Marlin did not calm down, continuing to threaten the National Guard. Investigators were called to the scene, and they confirmed that Andrey was a volunteer, who recently returned to Russia. In his car, they found 476 cartridges of 9 by 19 millimeters. The man explained that the ammunition was just lying around, and he had conveniently forgotten about them. Because of the cartridges found, Andrey was prosecuted for illegal possession of ammunition (Article 222 of the Criminal Code).
Such is the echo of the special operation. Meanwhile, the situation for the Russian side is more than serious. Russian troops are thrown back from their previous positions. The Belgorod region is being shelled, and there are no guarantees that the situation will not worsen. Ramzan Kadyrov calls on the heads of the regions to carry out their own micromobilization, to find human resources. You know, if, at least, I were sure that the Russian government is scum, but such, you know, cold-blooded and prudent, logical scum, I would tell you: "Guys, relax. There will be no mobilization." But on February 24 of this year, I realized that these people know how to surprise, so I have not taken it upon myself to guess since then. In any case, the Russian government has found itself between a rock and a hard place: on the one hand, it has the need to win the military campaign it has started, on the other hand, the real state of the Russian army and Russian society. As for the situation, we will see where it will end up in the future. This is the Vestnik Buri channel. Subscribe, give a thumbs up, write in the comments what you think about the prospects for mobilization, and see you again (I hope we will meet again).