60,000 Dead So Far; Putin Says 500,000 Dead “OK”

Putin announced to close aides that the deaths of 500,000 Russians in his invasion of Ukraine would be acceptable losses to him.

“The number of corpses of Russian soldiers, in these plans of Putin, does not play a role,” said the General SVR Telegram channel, which says it has inside Kremlin knowledge.

Russian President Putin believes he has a mobilisation manpower reserve of 25 million people so, “he does not care about 500,000 corpses. For him, this is two per cent of the reserve”.

Putin’s Old Man Army Readied as Cannon Fodder
Untrained Ill-Equipped Men Shipped to Hot Battle Front

Ukrainian forces are slowly but surely liberating town after town along their twin axes of advance in the north and south, including Kupyansk, home of one of the country’s largest rail stations. The yellow-and-blue flag of Ukraine was raised outside the station on September 27 by a soldier standing on the Russian tricolor it replaced, as seen in the video below posted to social media by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.

Russian Defenders Flee and Desert War

…simply that adding more people or soldiers does not address or in anyway mitigate the many morale, sustainment, logistical and tactical problems the Russian forces continue to experience.

A Problem Disguised as a Solution

Ukraine’s Forces are Getting Stronger at Russia’s Expense

Reports from Russia indicate that the system of training and mobilization, which had fallen into disrepair since the collapse of the Soviet Union, may have suffered badly during the first months of this conflict. The Russian Army may well have cannibalized its training formations in order to provide a short-term manpower boost at the front. If true, this means that troops will arrive at the front lines with only minimal training, likely incurring huge casualties.  

The Russians have also lost substantial amounts of modern equipment, and while Russian industry can capably turn out low-tech munitions it does not appear to have the capacity to manufacture tanks or aircraft at a rate that can replace losses. Could Russia buy enough equipment to keep its force sufficiently capitalized? Probably not, unless China decides to intervene in the conflict in a major way. Russian purchases of Iranian drones have already made an impact on the war, but are unlikely in quantity or effectively to prove decisive. Russia’s fixed-wing aircraft losses have been extreme, to the degree that Russian aircraft no longer provide basic support for the front lines. 

Battle Hardened Ukrainian Troops Learn to Fight Russian Conscripts

Desperate is Too Weak a Term for Russia’s Mood

Russia’s economy is sliding below the permafrost, while Russian male reservists and potential conscripts are fleeing the country in the hundreds of thousands. All at a time that Russia’s population is dropping at a rate of a million people every year. Putin’s folly has exposed Russia’s lack of war-readiness to the entire world, and only Putin’s overused threats to use nuclear weapons against western European capital cities has caused some nations — such as Germany — to back away from support for Ukraine.

Russian units disintegrated and troops fled in civilian vehicles for the Russian border. The Ukrainians usually don’t fire on civilian vehicles. Besides, Russian deserters do more for the Ukrainian cause back in Russia than as Ukrainian prisoners. The deserters spread the word about the disaster to the Russian government and its leader Vladimir Putin. The bad news from Ukraine caused Putin to admit, for the first time, that Russian forces had suffered a major defeat in Ukraine. Previous defeats were explained as a planned repositioning of Russian forces. The September defeat was different because it resulted in a major loss of Russian troops, most of them deserting or surrendering. Putin declared a national emergency and ordered 300,000 army reservists be activated and sent to Ukraine.

Russian military reserves are a myth because they are simply a list of soldiers who were in the military for at least a year and their last known address. Technically these are “unorganized reserves” and not nearly as useful as reservists who are organized into units and regularly trained. In some countries the reservists are paid for the days spent training. Putin insisted that only men with military experience were being called up. That was not how it was carried out by local military recruiting personnel, including the conscripts who are called up twice a year (spring and fall). Many recruiters supplement their income by taking bribes to get men off the conscription lists. This mobilization did not yield a lot of bribe income because many of those called up simply refused to show up.

Russia Gets Desperate

Russian “Annexation” of Parts of Ukraine Counterproductive

Russia cannot hold and defend the parts of Ukraine it currently occupies, and is entirely unable to occupy the parts it has not been able to conquer. Russian collaborators and administrators in the occupied territories are being killed rapidly — unless they are able to flee to Russia ahead of their executioners.

Russian authorities in occupied parts of Ukraine’s Kherson, Zaporizhia, Donetsk, and Luhansk oblasts completed their falsified annexation “referenda” on September 27 and implausibly claimed that each sham referendum received between 87 and 99% approval from Ukrainian residents.[1] Russian officials pre-ordained and falsified the approval ratings and alleged voter participation rates for the sham referenda while coercing Ukrainian civilians in occupied territories to performatively vote for Russian annexation, as ISW has previously reported.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will likely announce the Russian annexation of occupied Ukrainian territory on September 30. The completion of the performative referenda marks the last prerequisite for Russian President Vladimir Putin to declare the Russian annexation of occupied Ukrainian territory. The UK Ministry of Defense reported that Putin will likely make the declaration before or during an address to both houses of Russia’s parliament on Friday, September 30.[2] Putin followed a similar approach when he illegally annexed Ukrainian Crimea in 2014: a sham referendum, followed by a presidential decree of recognition and a treaty of accession that the Russian Federal Assembly formally approved within five days of the sham Crimean referendum. The Russian proxy leader of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR), Denis Pushilin, told Russian media on September 27 that he previously asked Putin to approve the results of the referendum before it was held and would travel to Moscow to sign an agreement.[3] The head of Russia’s proxy Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR), Leonid Pasechnik, announced on September 27 that the LNR will join Russia “very soon” and that he will travel to Moscow on September 27 or 28 to ask Putin in person to approve the results of the sham referenda.[4] ISW previously forecasted that Putin will annex occupied Ukrainian territory by or soon after October 1 to enable the forced conscription of Ukrainian civilians into the Russian military in the normal autumn conscription cycle.[5]

Russian forces are reportedly committing newly-mobilized Western Military District (WMD) men to the Kherson and Kharkiv Oblast frontlines without prior training.

Understanding War (ISW)

“Putin and the leadership of the military bloc are well aware that by transferring untrained and unprepared, and in many cases, poorly equipped people, to the front, they doom them to death.” __ Sources Close to Putin

Russia cannot afford to lose its young men in a senseless war that is based upon nothing more than the whims of an ex-KGB officer who felt bad when the old USSR crumbled on history’s junk heap. As a result of his stupidity, he risks having the same fate fall to the Russian Republic.

Russians are increasingly voting with their feet. Russian troops are deserting the battlefront and fleeing back to Russia, while Russian reservists are fleeing Russia itself to escape conscription. All against the decades-long backdrop of Russia’s best and brightest young people escaping overseas for a better life. The farce is being brought to a head by the dunderhead in the Kremlin.

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