Russia recruits reinforcements from all over the world

Vladimir Putin is calling on foreign troops and mercenaries to join the second wave of fighters, acknowledging that Russia has caused significant casualties to Ukraine so far.

S officials said Russia had deployed all of the forces it had concentrated on the Ukrainian border until February 24, believed to be around 170,000.

Ukrainian estimates say Russia has lost more than 12,000 troops – with more than 3,000 taken prisoner – plus 389 tanks and 167 aircraft.

Moscow is having to call on foreign fighters and troops based on Travel 9,600km. “Russia is struggling to conduct offensive operations in the face of persistent Ukrainian resistance,” said British intelligence officials.

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The troops may come from Armenia, part of Russia’s Eastern Military District. Moscow has a strategic security partnership with its southern neighbour, including a military base in the country.

Several Russian troops are stationed in Armenia to maintain a ceasefire following the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia in 2020 in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Eastern Military District is said to use old and not considered Moscow’s best equipment.

Pacific Fleet

The armies from the east and the Pacific fleet, based at Vladivostok, would take about 10 days to get into position.

However, it remains unclear whether Russian warships will be able to enter the Black Sea. Under the Montreux Convention, Turkey can restrict access to the Black Sea during times of conflict. Russia already has a significant amphibious force in the area, threatening the south coast and strategically important port of Odesa.

Wagner’s group

Moscow is also expected to turn to mercenary forces, including the shadowy Wagner Group that Western intelligence believes is active in Libya, Venezuela, Syria and central Africa.

The organization is organized an arm’s length from Moscow, but is expected to receive significant support from Russia’s regular army, especially in terms of the air force.


Chechen fighters supporting Putin in an overt show of force are being deployed to Ukraine.

The country’s fighters recently gathered in the center of Grozny for a speech by Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Chechen Republic and a former sniper during Russia’s war in the country. However, performance so far has been mixed, with images on social media of their pickup trucks being destroyed.

One warlord, Magomed Tushayev, was killed at the beginning of the invasion in the battle for Hostomel, one of the key battlefields, and has changed hands many times.

Reports suggest that Chechen troops took Katyuzhanka, 60 kilometers north of Kyiv, on Tuesday.


According to the image of the Russian Defense Ministry, Syrian fighters are also preparing to fight for Russia, although it is not clear how many fighters have gone. Defense analysts say the freezing temperatures in Ukraine will come as a shock to the Syrians.

Russia is not expected to risk further hindering its already stalled advance by using foreign fighters against major targets.

Instead, the country will likely try to use these forces to “seize captured territory and unleash combat power to recreate stalled offensive operations,” the British Ministry of Defense said. said.

What are Putin’s goals?

Ben Barry, of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, said Russia needed to have enough ground troops “but the evidence is that they are struggling”.

Mr. Putin is likely to turn to foreign forces for two reasons. First, it will be easier for him to withstand the political impact of additional military casualties.

In particular, the loss to the Wagner Group, which is believed to consist primarily of Russian regular servicemen, will be less controversial at home.

The second reason is that “these people may be willing to take a higher risk,” says Barry.

Why is Russia in trouble?

Ukraine’s high casualty rate – in terms of personnel and equipment – caught Moscow by surprise. Putin is wary of losing too many troops in a war he did not expect to fight.

Mr. Barry suggested that poor military planning could be to blame. Moscow launched the operation on 24 February with a force of about 170 tactical battalions, about 1,000 men each.

Most of these are infantry.

The 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq had roughly the same number of troops, but only 45 battalions. The remaining troops are logistics, engineers, medics, and other support forces that are vital to keeping an army going.

“Russia doesn’t invest too much in logistics,” Mr. Barry said.

“It is difficult to know how many forces are actually on the front lines or in traffic jams.”

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022] Russia recruits reinforcements from all over the world

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