Russia shortens training courses amid ‘critical shortages’ of manpower and NATO warns it’s not the ‘beginning of the end of the war’
Russian military academies are shortening training courses and bringing cadets’ graduation dates forwards so they can be deployed to Ukraine, the UK’s Ministry of Defence has said.
The latest intelligence update said, “The Kremlin linked Russian private military company Wagner Group has been conducting a campaign to recruit Russian convicts for service in Ukraine since at least July.
“Prisoners have been offered commutation of their sentences as well as cash incentives.
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“This has been reinvigorated, with recently posted video highly likely showing Wagner owner Yevgeny Prigozhin making a recruitment pitch to prisoners.
“In the video, Prigozhin emphasises that he is only seeking ‘fighters for assault units.’ Separately, Russian military academies are shortening training courses and bringing cadets’ graduation dates forwards.
“This is almost certainly so cadets can be deployed to support the Ukraine operation.
“The impact of Russia’s manpower challenges has become increasingly severe.
“The acceleration of officer cadets’ training and Wagner’s demand for assault troops suggests that two of the most critical shortages within the military manning crisis are probably combat infantry and junior commanders.”
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday Ukraine’s counter-attack against Russia has been very successful.
But he warned we should be “prepared for the long haul” amid Russia’s recruitment drive as this is not the beginning of the end of the war
Stoltenberg told BBC radio, “It is of course extremely encouraging to see that Ukrainian armed forces have been able to take back territory and also strike behind Russian lines,”
“At the same time, we need to understand that this is not the beginning of the end of the war, we need to be prepared for the long haul.”
Vladimir Putin is also considering a mass national draft in Russia to send conscripts to Ukraine whereby he would declare a full scale war, but he is facing an uphill battle to find conscripts.
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