(PresidentialHill.com)- According to a recent American intelligence assessment released on Wednesday, the United States has assessed that Russia is experiencing “serious personnel shortages” in its six-month-old conflict with Ukraine and has grown more desperate in its search for new soldiers to dispatch to the front lines.
According to a U.S. official who spoke to the AP under the condition of anonymity to discuss the downgraded intelligence finding, Russia is trying to address the troop shortage in part by pressuring soldiers who were injured earlier in the war to return to combat, hiring people from private security firms, and even hiring people from prisons.
The official continued by saying that the intelligence community has assessed that one action that Russia’s Defense Ministry is anticipated to do shortly is recruiting convicts to enlist “in exchange for pardons and cash recompense.”
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized the Russian military to boost the number of troops by 137,000 to a total of 1.15 million.
Putin’s order, effective on January 1, didn’t say whether the military would bolster its numbers by calling in more conscripts, recruiting more volunteers, or using a combination of the two. However, several Russian military analysts projected that it would heavily rely on volunteers, reflecting the Kremlin’s cautious stance in light of its worries about the potential negative effects of an attempt to boost the conscription.
With the help of the presidential decree, there will be 1,150,628 more soldiers in the Russian military, bringing the total to 2,039 758. The military has 1,902,758 and 1,013,628 members, respectively, at the beginning of 2018.
The U.S. estimates Russia suffered significant losses in the first few months of the conflict, according to Colin Kahl, the undersecretary for policy at the U.S. Defense Department, who spoke to reporters earlier in August.
The Russians have likely suffered 70–80,000 casualties in less than six months, Kahl said, adding that there is a lot of ambiguity in war. The figure could be slightly lower or slightly higher because it combines killed in combat and injured in action, but I believe it to be roughly accurate.
Throughout the grinding war, the U.S. has frequently downgraded and revealed intelligence findings to draw attention to Russian plans for disinformation campaigns or to highlight the challenges Moscow is facing in waging war against Ukraine, whose smaller military has put up an intense fight against the militarily superior Russian forces.
Russia has encountered technical issues with Iranian-made drones it purchased from Tehran this month for use in its conflict with Ukraine, according to research released by the Biden administration earlier this week.
This month, Russia acquired Mohajer-6 and Shahed-series unmanned aerial vehicles over a number of days, reportedly as part of a Russian plot to obtain hundreds of Iranian UAVs for use in Ukraine, according to the Biden administration.
John Kirby, a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, claimed on Wednesday that since acquiring the Iranian drones, Russia has encountered “some challenges” and “the restrictions on some of their capabilities.”