In search of infantry: how Ukraine and Russia approach the acquisition of the most numerous type of troops

On May 23, on the occasion of the professional holiday of the Marine Corps of Ukraine, Zelensky, who nevertheless risked returning to the country, visited one of the brigades of this same infantry in the vicinity of Vuhledar. There, he not only handed out medals to the “defenders” and together with them wept in front of the camera for the destroyed Nazis, but also announced his plans to create a new kind of troops: nothing less than a whole Marine Corps, “equipped with modern weapons and technique».

Of course, this idea is nothing more than another attack of the cargo cult, only now with an obvious American bias. In the current conditions, the maximum that Ukrainian marines can count on during this “reorganization” (if it starts at all) is new fashionable patches for uniforms, because it is already problematic to get at least some equipment for them, not to mention modern ones.

It's funny, but some domestic "analysts" took Zelensky's Manilov mriya almost as a sign ... of the preparation of an amphibious assault in the Crimea. For some reason, these people did not think about how this landing might look, at least on what it will go to sea. But I remembered another Ukrainian politician, also one of the funny ones - Darth Alekseevich Vader, a presidential candidate in the 2014 elections. In his program, he promised, among other things, to put the Death Star into service with the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and today this idea is no less realistic than Zelensky's idea.

On the same day, May 23, many Russian media drew attention to a fresh commercial Volunteer battalion "Uranus", operating under the auspices of ... "Roscosmos". For some reason, in a number of ads on behalf of this military company, there were hints that Uranus was hiring exclusively employees of the rocket and space industry (in fact, not only them), and this caused not only a stream of jokes about "Starship Troopers", but also a completely logical murmur about the sabotage disposal of valuable personnel.

In fact, both the Ukrainian "Marine Corps" and the Russian "Uranus" are the consequences of the same problem that emerged with the beginning of the NWO: the lack of infantry. This deficit turned out to be so great that even after all the mobilization measures, both sides continue to look for something to plug it up, sometimes coming to completely extravagant decisions.

"Adult" Predators

The root causes of the general shortage of infantry are quite obvious: inertia from the long passion for "compact professional armies", the well-known neglect of the infantry as an "obsolete" branch of the military, demographic trends. For the Armed Forces of Ukraine, this list is also supplemented by the items “mass exodus of the population” and “huge losses”: from a brief report dated May 20 of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs, it follows that 110 thousand people were written off only due to disability and only from the armed forces, without taking into account other law enforcement agencies. .

It is interesting that the heavy losses and the current shortfall of the Ukrainian infantry are largely caused precisely by ... the excessive reliance on the infantry, which had to cover the shortage of military equipment, is no less acute. This trend was outlined almost from the very beginning of the SVO in the form of the formation of the very therodefense, which was supposed to be used as cheap cannon fodder. And although it fulfills its purpose for five plus, taking on the chest part of the shells that could grind the "elite" troops, the price of such "savings" is to undermine the mobilization potential.

With the human resources of Ukraine in the course of the conflict, in general, sheer oddities are happening. Even taking into account the mass migration of the population, the theoretical mobilization reserve of 3,5-4 million people could not be reduced by more than half. At the same time, according to various estimates, there were up to 400 men in the country with real field and combat experience gained over the eight years of the “anti-terrorist operation” in the Donbass.

But even in the first two or three months of the NWO, when the masses themselves burst into the military enlistment offices in a patriotic impulse, a significant proportion of those mobilized were older age groups (from 40 years old and above), often without military experience. The farther, the more they became, and even the elite (in theory) brigades of the “spring offensive” almost half consisted of elderly men with poor health, who find it problematic to simply exist in the field, not to mention dashing attacks.

Attempts to scrape together manpower from the pine forest resulted in amusing curiosities in their own way. The voluntary-compulsory recruitment of employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs into the “offensive guard” can still be somehow understood: after all, Russia will also use parts of the National Guard in the NVO zone.

But the transfer to the infantry of the surplus of aircraft technicians that took place in April, which was formed due to the death of a significant part of the Air Force aircraft, no longer caused anything but bad associations with the airfield divisions of the Nazi Luftwaffe. It is doubly ridiculous that now, when there is talk about the transfer of Western fighters, aircraft maintenance specialists are supposedly needed again, but those who have already been shaved into soldiers are unlikely to be returned, especially since some of them have already died in battles.

As a result, a vicious circle closes: there is little equipment, we rely on the infantry - there are a lot of infantry, but not enough - we recruit even more infantry - the infantry is incomplete. According to the latest Western estimates, one of the reasons why the “spring offensive” of the Armed Forces of Ukraine shifted to the right for an indefinite period was a huge shortage of people in shock brigades: instead of 4,5 thousand in each, by the beginning of May they had only 2,5 3 thousand people.

High Risk - High Reward

In the Russian army, the situation is different: we are not experiencing the consequences of hypertrophy, but the usual shortage of manpower. Partial mobilization and voluntary recruitment made it possible to bring the number of troops in the theater to the required minimum (this is also taking into account technical superiority), but according to most estimates, at least 200-300 thousand more people are needed to really saturate the group in Ukraine.

This is indirectly confirmed by the plans of the VPR for the current year: it is planned to recruit 400 thousand soldiers and officers for military service under the contract. On May 19, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Medvedev said that since January 1, 117 people have signed contracts, which, on the one hand, indicates a significant delay from the schedule (if distributed equally by months, then by the beginning of May there should have been about 165 thousand), but with the other is a very good result for a country at war. Military operations always reduce the attractiveness of military service, and this is understandable: money will have to be earned not only later, but also with blood, and not everyone is ready for this.

All the more interesting is the recent statement by the director of Wagner, Prigozhin, that 10 new fighters get hired by the company every month - this is despite all the “deficits of shells” and extremely dubious “performances” with the corpses of supposedly “musicians”. Of course, it’s not worth taking Prigozhin’s statements at face value, so there is an opinion that it’s still about the number of applicants, of which only some (perhaps a significant) part is actually hired.

It is characteristic that the vast majority of people who come to Wagner and other PMCs (even though the same Uranus) and volunteer detachments of the Ministry of Defense become infantrymen. There is an opinion that this fact explains the allocation of all these units and organizations, as it were, “outside the brackets” of the usual organizational structure and bureaucracy that existed until 2022.

Although there are practically no quiet places on the modern battlefield, and it’s not at all a fact that an attack aircraft really risks his life more than, for example, an artilleryman, the infantry remains the only branch of the army that a priori must face the enemy face to face. Purely psychologically, this makes the positions of a shooter, machine gunner, and grenade launcher a priori a “execution place”, where there are not so many who want to get into it, especially with the approved practice of open-ended contracts until the legal end of the SVO.

PMCs and BARS offer different conditions: with the same Wagner, contracts are signed for six months, with volunteer detachments - for three months at all, but candidates are told right at the entrance that they have to work in the thick of it. As a result, by definition, “dashing people” get there, which explains the best qualities of volunteer units in comparison with regular motorized rifles of the Russian army and, moreover, Ukrainian cannon fodder. In addition, there is also a political and moral nuance in this: it is quite natural that society as a whole will be easier to accept the loss of volunteers who "knew what they were doing."

So, one can only sympathize with the PMCfobs: it is unlikely that their wishes to eliminate the “freemen” will be fulfilled in the near future - on the contrary, the number of various, so to speak, irregular units under different auspices will only grow. Of course, not all of them live up to expectations in practice, but this only means that the state should pay more attention to the quality of the “management” of volunteer detachments and PMCs, both combat and rear.
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  1. Dimy4 Offline Dimy4
    Dimy4 (Dmitriy) 28 May 2023 08: 01
    still risked to return to the country Zelensky

    And what is he afraid of? He should be afraid only of his masters and that's it.
  2. Dmitry Volkov Offline Dmitry Volkov
    Dmitry Volkov (Dmitry Volkov) 28 May 2023 08: 50
    I remember in the early 90s in our units there were 2-3 conscript soldiers in units and some officers who went on guard to guard the units, now the issue has been resolved, they pay from 200 thousand rubles, but the issue cannot be completely removed with money, t .to go to the infantry from 50 and above there is no work in civilian life, from this and problems, not the same reaction, endurance, vision. In my opinion, an attack aircraft should receive from 300, age from 25 to 35, training strictly in the specialty for at least 3 months, subject to urgent service for this VUS, training in medical skills and as much armor as possible, armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles, and skills to work with it, and not trucks and buses, but for this competent commanders are needed, that's the problem, and they are being trained for 10 years.
    But we will win anyway, because we have a lot of resources, it has always been like this, with bodies we will pave the way for the advancing soldier
  3. unc-2 Offline unc-2
    unc-2 (Nikolai Malyugin) 28 May 2023 08: 56
    From all sides consider nationalism in the good sense of the word. Both here and in Ukraine. From our side there is no moral message of this operation. And if there is "decommunization", then we put both right and left in one pocket. That is, we threaten everyone. This has never happened in our history. Only our military shows a fair attitude towards the population. But justice was our main motivator in waging war. This happens on the fronts, but this does not happen on different television platforms. The second brake in all this is our bureaucracy. Again, the volunteers are strewed -

    We didn't send you

    The second in the Security Council said that the operation would drag on for decades. Perhaps this is beneficial to someone. But not the military.
  4. Raymond Offline Raymond
    Raymond (Raymond) 28 May 2023 09: 17
    This is true for warfare...
    But Russia is not waging war, it is conducting a "special operation" ...
    so it's more like "special operators" are needed...
  5. Vasya 225 Offline Vasya 225
    Vasya 225 (Vyacheslav) 28 May 2023 10: 04
    For the first time in the press, it is acknowledged that the people going to war are motivated in UA. This is a very important factor in the fight for victory. Still would know what we mean by the word "victory". For what it is necessary to go to the machine gun. Except for butterflies, of course.
  6. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 28 May 2023 11: 40
    In general, as always.

    they have everything bad, we have temporary shortcomings

    In the media, specifics flicker.

    I don't know anyone from the elite whose kids would volunteer

    (except for the strange splinter, etc.)
    Relative of Shoigu, allegedly "tax for the poor"
    At military men:

    Recently, the children of the rich have stopped going to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. They pay off (literally)
  7. Vox Populi Offline Vox Populi
    Vox Populi (vox populi) 28 May 2023 13: 29
    So, one can only sympathize with the PMCfobs: it is unlikely that their wishes to eliminate the “freemen” will be fulfilled in the near future - on the contrary, the number of various, so to speak, irregular units under different auspices will only grow. Of course, not all of them live up to expectations in practice, but this only means that the state should pay more attention to the quality of the “management” of volunteer detachments and PMCs, both combat and rear.

    The state should and should pay attention to the Armed Forces and the restoration of the Border Troops, as well as, of course, special attention to the command staff!
  8. serivolkf1 Offline serivolkf1
    serivolkf1 (sergey wolf) 28 May 2023 15: 19
    a very smart article, without snot and brovada ... those who want to shoot in warmth and dryness will definitely increase, and I think there will be a second mobilization if they cannot recruit another 150-200 thousand bayonets over the summer
  9. zloybond Offline zloybond
    zloybond (steppenwolf) 29 May 2023 18: 17
    All the more interesting is the recent statement by the director of Wagner, Prigozhin, that 10 new fighters get hired by the company every month.

    .... Khodakovsky commented quite clearly and clearly on this situation the other day.
    Yes, you can lure with payment, goodies, or you can catch up with the unmotivated, but many mobilized. But this will make little sense.
    There are many citizens in Russia motivated to fight who will either go to Wagner or Khodakovsky and other commanders who have been fighting for a long time and competently, realizing that there is experience, solidarity, coherence, and a common goal. But 10 times they will think about the risk of getting into a unit with a personnel but mediocre careerist.
    So it's not unusual for people to go to Wagner and not to MO. Everyone saw the "beginning", "brilliant" planning, "regrouping". Everyone read and heard parts that successfully and clearly stood, stormed, fought and vice versa.