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War in Ukraine Russian Armed Forces

EXPLAINED: How Big is Russia’s Army in Ukraine? Bigger, But Definitely Not Better

Unless the Kremlin can find a way to keep the reality of the front lines away from the public, it is unlikely to solve the problem of how to attract more men to fight in Ukraine.

According to a new report Russia’s army in Ukraine is more than double the size of the force that invaded almost two years ago, despite suffering hundreds of thousands of casualties.

What’s more, even though hundreds of Russian soldiers are being taken out of the fight every day, the Kremlin could be able to sustain its armies for the long term despite the losses.

But one factor will be crucial – the Kremlin will need to be able to convince new recruits that the situation on the front lines is far better than it actually is – just maybe not too good.

A new report from Oleksandr Kovalenko, director of the Information Resistance military information platform, says that Moscow’s troop strength inside Ukraine currently exceeds 400,000 soldiers.

He also said that even sustained casualties of 800-1,000 men a day in periods of the most intense fighting, are unlikely to erode that figure significantly.

Kovolenko said that around 20-25,000 men a month are being delivered to Russian army training centers while losses average between 15-20,000 men a month.

So despite losing so many soldiers, how does the Kremlin continue to attract men?

As well as offering high salaries to residents of poor regions with high unemployment, Kremlin military planners have succeeded in finding enough replacements by publicizing a narrative of continued Russian military success in Ukraine.

In the video above we look at the numbers of troops the Kremlin is sending to fight in Ukraine and the current “volatile” information space inside Russia that could backfire for the Kremlin.

For an in-depth analysis, read Kyiv Post senior defence correspondent Stefan Korshak's report here.

 

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