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A new report shows discrepancies in Russian draft statistics 213,000 have been mobilized in Russia — but this only accounts for two-thirds of its regions, not the whole nation, as claimed by Shoigu
At least 213,000 have been conscripted in Russia since the start of mobilization on Sept. 21. This figure was published by Vazhnye Istorii (“Stories that Matter”), in collaboration with Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) volunteer analysts. While this number matches, roughly, Sergey Shoigu’s Oct. 4 assertion that “more than 200,000” had been drafted nationwide, it does not include data from 32 Russian regions left out from the statistics. The Defense Ministry, though, had made clear that all Russian regions would undergo a mobilization.
Every other region, among those with known mobilization figures, has supplied a greater-than-planned number of conscripts. While the Defense Ministry prescribed drafting one percent of the registered reserve, the Krasnoyarsk region, for example, mobilized 5.5 percent. In Sevastopol, this proportion is up to four percent. Buryatia has drafted 3.7 percent of the reserve, Dagestan 2.6 percent, and Kalmykia 2.2 percent. To CIT analysts, these figures suggest a competition among regional administrations who try to impress the Defense Ministry.
The different percentages may also be connected to regional differences in the numbers of experienced reservists — but this hypothesis cannot be verified, since this information is classified.
Vazhnye Istorii and CIT also note that regions with lower per capita average incomes are mobilizing larger shares of their army reserves. Out of the 26 regions that drafted more than one percent of their reservists, 23 have populations with average income below the national average. “These regions,” CIT analysts explain, “are likely to have a greater number of recently returned contract servicemen. The army is often one of the few employers in such places, and can be a means of social mobility.”
The regions that “lead” in mobilization statistics also report the greatest numbers of confirmed war casualties. The CIT report mentions Dagestan, North Ossetia, Buryatia, Tyva and other regions that have suffered particularly heavy losses.
Uneven mobilization can result in greater mortality rates among the conscripts. A greater share of new conscripts is expected to be killed or wounded, compared with losses among regular army servicemen. This is partly attributed to inadequate training: the newly-mobilized troops are sent to the front without sufficient preparation.
CIT analysts are certain that mobilization will not stop at 300,000 conscripts, as claimed earlier by the Defense Ministry: “We can see,” they write,
that they’re trying to draft 300,000 all at once. It might have been expected that this number would be drafted in stages, so as to supply reinforcements gradually, but that’s not the case. Further mobilization may be needed to make up for the losses among those already drafted. On the other hand, the figures of one and 1.2 million may reflect the total they intend to draft in the course of the war. Possibly, 300,000 is the number they’re drafting now, and the rest will be mobilized gradually, to make up for the losses. In any case, we don’t think that mobilization will stop at 300,000.
The authors don’t expect mobilization to be effective, since the conscripts now being drafted do not conform to the federal command’s expectations of mobilizing experienced fighters and specialists. Instead, the media report regularly on cases of people without prior army experience, as well as seriously ill and disabled people, being conscripted for the sake of making the quota. Instances of new conscripts dying even before making it to the front have also been reported.
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