The mobilization announced by Putin will not deprive Ukraine of the opportunity to liberate most of the occupied territories this winter, and it will hardly sharply increase the combat capability of the Russian army in Ukraine, rather it will only compensate for the losses. This conclusion is made by analysts at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement of "partial mobilization" reflected many of the challenges Russia is facing in its tentative invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow is unlikely to be able to resolve in the coming months. Putin's order to mobilize part of the Russian "trained" reserve, that is, those who have completed compulsory military service, will not create significant Russian combat power for several months. This may be enough to maintain the current level of the size of the Russian military in 2023 by compensating for Russian losses, although even this is not yet clear. According to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in a September 21 interview, this will happen in stages, which will likely prevent any sudden influx of Russian troops that could drastically change the course of the war. Partial mobilization of Russia, therefore, will not deprive Ukraine of the opportunity to liberate most of the occupied territory during the winter.
According to ISW, Russian reservists are poorly trained and do not undergo retraining at the end of the draft period. The lack of retraining after the initial period accelerates the degradation of acquired soldier skills over time, analysts write. “Shoigu cited an intention to call on reservists with ‘combat experience’, but very few Russian reservists, other than those currently serving in Ukraine, have combat experience,” ISW notes.