Vladimir Putin's conscripts won't win his war but may drag it out

Not only has Russia lost about 80,000 soldiers dead or wounded in Ukraine, according to estimates, but with insufficient manpower for rotation many troops are now spending their eighth month in field

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Russian President Vladimir Putin (Photo: Reuters)

Marc Champion | Bloomberg
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s move to draft in 300,000 reservists to reinforce his troops in Ukraine is likely to extend the war rather than influence its outcome.
Still, it could buy him time to execute a wider strategy -- including exacerbating Europe’s energy crisis and threatening a nuclear strike on unspecified targets -- aimed at undermining foreign military and financial support for Kyiv’s war effort.

Everything about Putin’s decision to order a partial mobilization is surrounded by questions, including the feasibility of the number itself. Other unknowns include the speed, quality and goals of a mass training exercise that’s about to begin. 

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First Published: Sep 23 2022 | 2:11 PM IST

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