Russia is barely training its troops, probably rendering them incapable of going on the offensive, UK intel says

  • Russia's lack of training is hindering its troops' ability for successful attacks, the UK MOD said.

  • A leading factor is the absence of unit rotations away from the battlefield, it said.

  • Russia has struggled to recruit new soldiers since Putin's call-up last fall.

Russia's lack of advanced training has left its troops mostly unable to advance in Ukraine, UK intelligence said on Thursday.

"Higher-level training" had mostly been put on hold since the full-scale invasion began in 2022, the UK Ministry of Defence said in a daily update.

This had left it struggling in "conducting successful complex offensive operations," per the update — the type of work needed to achieve Russia's aim of conquering Ukraine.

The MOD post linked the lack of training to Russia's decision to keep it units in combat continuously, rather than rotating them out of the most intense fighting, which is when training could take place.

That was in turn linked to Russia's ongoing struggle to recruit enough people to conduct the war.

The MOD cited recent comments by a Russian parliamentary official, Andrei Kartapolov, who said that mobilized personnel would have to serve until the war is over and could not be rotated out.

Russia's most significant effort to increase its manpower began a year ago, with the conscription of around 300,000 Russian reservists.

That move prompted tens of thousands of Russian men to flee the country and prompted wider unrest. Shortly after, the Kremlin said it wouldn't do any further waves of mobilization.

That leaves a major recruitment problem and limited supplies of willing fighters. To fill in the gaps, Russia passed a number of bills in July to widen the pool of males who are eligible to fight.

President Vladimir Putin signed a bill into law to raise the maximum age for male conscription from 27 to 30 years old from 2024 to enable more men to be drafted.

Another measure also increased the age limit for when retired soldier could be called back up, in some cases extending it to 55.

It remains unclear whether those recruitment efforts will translate into meaningful changes in the war.

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