War in Ukraine: Russia is preparing to mobilize 500,000 new soldiers, according to kyiv

These conscripts could be used in a series of spring and summer offensives in the south and east of the country, warns Vadym Skibitsky, deputy head of Ukrainian military intelligence.

Russia, which suffered several tactical setbacks before winter, would be preparing to mobilize 500,000 new conscripts in January, said Vadym Skibitsky, deputy head of Ukrainian military intelligence, according to The Guardian . These would be used for a series of spring and summer offensives in the east and south of the country, he added. Vladimir Putin had already decreed the mobilization of 300,000 conscripts end of September, bringing the total strength of the Russian military in Ukraine to almost 500,000 people. These would mostly be used “to multiply the lines of defense on the illegally occupied territories (…) rather than as combatants“, had explained Hervé Bléjean, Director of the General Staff of the European Union, before the deputies of the National Defense Committee meeting behind closed doors on 16 November.

In a BBC interview at the end of December, Kyrylo Buodanov, the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate, had also declared that a new wave of mobilization would be planned for January 5. “They will have to launch a new wave of mobilization, even taking into account that the past mobilization, which is supposed to have ended, did not stop. People are mobilized in full swing“, he continued.

A “useless” wave

Vladimir Putin had nevertheless qualified “useless» a new wave of mobilized. But the Moscow Times revealed on December 23 that the media, already heavily censored, had been ordered not to talk about a new mobilization. “Before that, we could write about the current mobilization, and about possible scenarios and forecasts. Now all forecasts are stopped. Requirement [des autorités] says that it is impossible to talk about it, even if the statement was made by a deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation or a senator“says the source of the Moscow Times.

If a new wave of mobilization were decreed, the question of the equipment and the training of the soldiers would then arise. “Russia could mobilize, that’s for sure, but what kind of troops? We must already assimilate the 300,000 mobilized in September, then the question of a new mobilization could arise“, nuances with the Figaro, Thibault Fouillet, associate researcher at the Foundation for Strategic Research. “I don’t think mobilization changes the situation. This is not a sufficient increase in staff to tip the balance of power. In the beginning, the Russians were four against one, today they are a little more than one against one. The quality of the Russian army has been declining for a year, unlike the Ukrainian army“, for his part, estimated General Michel Yakovleff, former Vice-Chief of Staff of SHAPE at NATO.

For its part, Ukraine wantsset up three new army corps by March 2023, for an estimated volume of 75,000 men“, in order to “take the initiative in operations next spring“. “This very ambitious objective practically corresponds to the volume of the land operational force of the French army“, had compared Hervé Bléjean. The frost, which arrived at the end of last week in several regions of Ukraine, could make it possible to restart operations.

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War in Ukraine: Russia is preparing to mobilize 500,000 new soldiers, according to kyiv