Putin Throwing Russians Into the 'Meat Grinder' in Desperate Bid to Win War
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Putin Throwing Russians Into the 'Meat Grinder' in Desperate Bid to Win War

Oct 10, 2023

Russian President Vladimir Putin is throwing Russian men into the "meat grinder" in a desperate bid to win his war against Ukraine, according to an analyst.

Putin declared a "partial mobilization" on September 21, with his conscription order supposedly targeting reservists and ex-military personnel with "certain military specialties and relevant experience."

He claimed on Friday that "all mobilization activities" in the country will be completed in about two weeks.

"This work is already coming to an end," Putin said at a press conference in Astana. There are now 222,000 people mobilized in the troop formations, out of 300,000."

"Nothing further is being planned…within the foreseeable future," Putin said.

The Russian leader's announcement came shortly after he said in a rare admission that "mistakes" had been made in his partial mobilization.

Reports have emerged of ineligible men being called up for military service, and last week, a Moscow government official who was conscripted as part of Putin's mobilization decree, despite having no combat experience, was killed in Ukraine.

Some conscripted Russians have died before reaching the battlefield, while others have died shortly after being deployed in Ukraine. Russian authorities confirmed on October 13 that five newly mobilized troops from the Chelyabinsk region had been killed in action in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, BBC's Russian service has cited fellow service members as saying that new recruits are being sent to fight in Ukraine without prior training.

Max Bergmann, the director of the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), analyzing how the next phase of the war will play out, told Newsweek that Putin will "throw Russian men into the meat grinder" as his military is likely to continue suffering setbacks amid Ukrainian counteroffensives.

Bergmann noted that it is difficult to tell how "partial" Putin's mobilization actually was.

"I think in some parts of Russia, it was very much a full mobilization. I think it's pretty clear that that certain regions of Russia in the Far East and the Caucasus region it feels more like a full mobilization, while in Moscow and St. Petersburg, I think they dialed back some of the mobilization," he said.

Justin Bronk, senior research fellow at RUSI, said Putin's partial mobilization has come "far too late to meaningfully improve Russia's perilous position on the front lines in Ukraine."

"If Russia had mobilized in March, when it was clear that the initial attack on Kyiv had failed to produce a quick victory, then new units formed from conscripted troops might now be approaching combat readiness," he told Newsweek.

Newsweek has contacted Russia's foreign ministry for comment.