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"Russia Restructuring Military" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian26 Dec 2022 8:45 p.m. PST

Russia on Wednesday announced an ambitious plan to beef up its military from 1 million to 1.5 million and create multiple new units, an attempt to bolster the forces that have lost momentum and many soldiers in the war in Ukraine…

Military: link

* increase manpower by 50%
* reintroduce divisions
* put tactical air under army control

Griefbringer27 Dec 2022 4:29 a.m. PST

It is a bit of mystery where they expect to find the additional manpower, since military service is not particularly popular amongst the Russian male population.

What is not mentioned in that news item is that in the same event Putin apparently stated that the no expenses will be spared in the military structuring and reforms. However, just pouring in a lot of money will not be able to solve many of the problems enountered in the military, such as the rampant corruption and theft.

Druzhina27 Dec 2022 4:46 a.m. PST

"As part of a planned reform, some air force units will be made subordinate to groups of land forces in an apparent bid to increase coordination between them that many observers said proved insufficient during the fighting in Ukraine."

Air-force operations are already subordinate to the army. According to Perun this is part of the reason that the Russians did not achieve air superiority in the 1st days of the war – they were too busy answering army calls for CAS. It must have been insufficient because the Russian army failed to take Kyiv (not a problem with the army at all!).

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Tgunner Supporting Member of TMP27 Dec 2022 7:07 a.m. PST


The additional manpower is conscription. Putin has strong security forces and the tact approval of the Russian population. Put those two together and he'll find/shang-hi the troops he needs.

Will they be good? Meh… probably not. But right now he just need bodies to fill out units so that he can concentrate his effective forces for offensive operations. The Germans did stuff like this in WWI by forming Stosstruppen units.

The Germans poured conscripts into infantry divisions and pooled the best troops into Stosstruppen units (the so called "stormtroops", or into other offensive minded units like Jaegers for example). For Putin's Russia that's VDV (Airborne), Spetsnaz (Special forces), Naval Rifles (Marines), Wagner mercs (many of them are ex-Russian military operators who went private to earn better money), some Chechens (Russia's own Gurkhas), and regular contract soldiers (volunteer soldiers) organized into battalion tactical groups (Russian army formations that are built from the regular army by "milking" regular formations of their volunteer soldiers and giving them the best kit in the formation). Everyone else- Russian conscripts and Luhansk/Donetsk conscripts, and Wagner prison conscripts are line holders and fire attractors who are used form the bulk of the army. They don't have a lot of offensive potential, but they do have a job to do which frees up the offensive troops for operations.

The problem with this strategy is you tend to run out of "Stosstruppen" at some point. The question is when is that going to happen?

FatherOfAllLogic27 Dec 2022 7:52 a.m. PST

It's ironic that Russia, Russia, is running out of manpower.

JMcCarroll27 Dec 2022 8:21 a.m. PST

21st century Russians are not the 20th century Russians.
Basically they want to live and better themselves.

Historically the Russians do best defending. The Russian army can be summed up best by using an old modifier from the game System 7. Russian troops receive a +1 modifier defending in Russia.

nickinsomerset27 Dec 2022 10:13 a.m. PST

"Historically the Russians do best defending." Hence Putin trying to convince everyone that the "Special Operation" was to defend Russian against an invasion by card holding, drugged up Ukrainian Nazis, bred in special laboratories financed by NATO!

Tally Ho!

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP27 Dec 2022 11:40 a.m. PST

The Russians have a lot of work to do … And you don't create an effective fighting force overnight. I don't think they can do it … Not anytime soon anyway …

soledad27 Dec 2022 12:04 p.m. PST

As long as they do not correct the, according to me, "core faults" nothing will change.

First they need to stop corruption and start treating the soldiers like human beings.

After that they need a truly professional NCO corps. After that they need to trust people and allow initiative. Later on have real exercises not scripted show pieces.

then, maybe, they might have a chance at an effective fighting force.

McKinstry Fezian27 Dec 2022 4:29 p.m. PST

Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP27 Dec 2022 6:17 p.m. PST

The only threat the Russians will be for a very long time will be a Nuclear one. Which is bad enough. But their conventional military … not so much for a very long time.

UshCha28 Dec 2022 2:25 a.m. PST

Putin cannot fight an infanytry only war. Where will he get the tanks, IFV's and Planes from? They all need western Kit he has limited/vcostly access to? He has a budget no bigger than the UK but seems to want to play like the US, just not rational.

Griefbringer28 Dec 2022 7:01 a.m. PST

The additional manpower is conscription.

Long term increase of military manpower by regular concript service only to the level of 1.5 million would require quite drastic changes into the system.

Presently, around 0.25 million or so young Russian men enter the conscript service (lasting one year) annually, the others are currently exempted for various reasons (e.g. university studies or health issues). The annual birth rates in Russia have been fluctuating between 1.5 and 2 million births per year.

By drastically reducing the exemptions to the service, it might be possible to increase the annual conscript intake to 0.6 million men or so, which does not quite reach to the desired level. Of course, to get the most of these new concripts, there needs to be an increase in officers to get them properly trained.

Another means to increase the effective manpower would be to increase the term of service from 1 to 1.5 years; combined with an annual intake of 0.5 million conscripts this would result in the desired increase in quantity (whether the Russian leadership is concerned with quality is another issue).

Either way, increasing the duration of the military service and/or reducing the number of exemptions would be unpopular amongst those subject to the service (men in their 20's), less so amongst the older generations who would not be required to participate (though sufficiently senior citizens may have themselves served in the Soviet times).


On another note, the future Russian army conscripts can be expected to benefit from the basic military education that will be (re-)introduced to the Russian secondary level education from next September onwards, as announced a couple of months ago. The practical utility of this training will of course be dependent on how capable teachers can be trained in the time available – especially when most of the professional military trainers left in the country already have their hands full with the current stock of conscripts and "partially mobilised" personnel.

Andy ONeill28 Dec 2022 9:08 a.m. PST

The nuclear threat is all or nothing. Putin pretty much can't use those nukes for offensive operations. If he uses tactical nukes then he risks tactical retribution on home soil.
That would be counter productive. Small potential for gain. Huge potential for loss.

More than tac – that's just MAD.

I think one of Putin's mistakes was to start waving the "we got nukes" flag too early.

SBminisguy28 Dec 2022 11:14 a.m. PST

If he uses tactical nukes then he risks tactical retribution on home soil.
That would be counter productive. Small potential for gain. Huge potential for loss.

Let's get real -- is France gonna launch a nuke strike on Russia because Putin glasses a Ukraininan mech column advancing into Crimea? Will Macron *really* put the City of Love into the nuclear crosshairs over Ukraine? Will Britain risk London for Lvov? I doubt it.

Ghostrunner28 Dec 2022 11:59 a.m. PST

I think the lasting effect would be that any time Russia/Putin try to rattle sabers in the future, it would be treated as a nuclear threat.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP28 Dec 2022 1:02 p.m. PST

I do think Putin can continue to rattle the nuke saber, but that might be more for local consumption. Regardless they got nukes, the PRC/CCP, North Korea, and Iran[sooner or later]. Yes, Pakistan & India have nukes but they are much more likely to use them on each other.

Oh yeah the IDF has them too, but they are no threat to the West.

Ghostrunner28 Dec 2022 2:53 p.m. PST

Israel only admitted to having nukes after they claimed to have gotten rid of them.

So almost anyone's guess at this point on what they have.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP28 Dec 2022 4:59 p.m. PST

Regardless, they won't show everyone all their cards.

Sun Tzu to paraphrase, "All warfare is a matter of deception" …

They would have had to have some anyway. Not a "Beware of the Dog" sign will fool everyone. Iran is actively trying or has nukes. Israel is their first target. If things go that way. Will that ever happen ? Probably not … But it is a 0 Sum game with nukes. Shia Iran's #1 enemy after Israel, is Sunni KSA.

The stakes are too high with the proliferation of nukes in the Mid East …

Andy ONeill29 Dec 2022 3:32 a.m. PST

By tactical retribution. I do not mean nuclear.

Andy ONeill29 Dec 2022 3:33 a.m. PST

And yes. I do think if Russia nukes ukraine there will be a lot of things in Russia get blown up. By non nuclear devices. Quite possibly without any clear attribution.

Griefbringer29 Dec 2022 5:50 a.m. PST

Back to the manpower numbers, the article gives the following numbers for the volunteer contract soldiers:

- 400,000 (roughly) in the beginning of 2022
- 521,000 (goal) at the end of 2023
- 695,000 (goal) in the long term

So that leaves another 200,000 to be filled with other means, e.g. by reducing draft exceptions regarding conscript service.

I am still wondering where Shoigu expects to find those volunteers next year, considering that their recruitment this year has not quite gone as hoped for, and the memory of this year's events will affect future recruitment for many years even after the "special military operation" will be over.


I do also have reservations about Putin's claim that the domestic weapons industry will be able to crank up their production without over-stretching resources and damaging the economy (already hindered by the numerous sanctions), especially when combined by this increase in the military personnel which will also require lots of resources. And in the other hand, this means less resources available to the civilian sector.

Andy ONeill29 Dec 2022 8:06 a.m. PST

The recent increase in smoking related accidents could well be a trend. That could well result in reduced production. Very careless with their cigarettes, those russians.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2022 1:14 p.m. PST

I do think if Russia nukes ukraine there will be a lot of things in Russia get blown up. By non nuclear devices.
Yes, the USA has a lot things that are not WMDs and still can do a lot of damage …

where Shoigu expects to find those volunteers next year,
And will they be worth anything beyond being targets on the battlefield. Seems the vast majority of the military are very incompetent, etc..

reservations about Putin's claim that the domestic weapons industry will be able to crank up their production
I too think that won't happen. However, he is getting weapons, etc. from Iran and possibly Un of the North.

smoking related accidents
It says on the pack Smoking can kill you … Probably not in Russian or China though.

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