Why Putin announced the end of “partial mobilization” – experts explain

The end of partial mobilization in the Russian Federation is a sign of the failure of its bureaucracy. Analysts at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) suggest that the announcement of the end of “partial mobilization” in Russia was made to free up bureaucratic bandwidth for the regular autumn conscription and create conditions for better training for autumn recruits.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that the “partial mobilization” will end “in about two weeks” – the time when the delayed autumn conscription is due to begin.

On October 14, Putin told reporters that “nothing additional is planned” and that “partial mobilization is almost complete.”

Putin announced that of the 220,000 people who were mobilized after his order of September 21, 35,000 are already in Russian military units, and 16,000 are already in units that “perform combat missions.”

The Russian president also outlined the training that these mobilized forces are allegedly undergoing: 5-10 days of “primary training”, 5-15 days of training with combat units, “then the next stage – directly in the troops participating in hostilities”.

According to the institute, even the 10 days of training that mobilized people can receive most likely do not consist of actual combat training.

Many future instructors and officers were likely wounded or killed in Ukraine before the mobilization began. Russian training grounds are also likely to be understaffed.

ISW, citing a statement by White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, reports that despite contradictory statements about the intensification of the training regime in Belarus, there are no signs that Belarusian troops are preparing to enter Ukraine.

Key conclusions of the Institute’s analysts:

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that his “partial” mobilization will end “in about two weeks” – presumably to free up bureaucratic bandwidth for the regular autumn conscription cycle, which begins on November 1.
  • Putin may plan for the mobilization to “close the gaps” on Russia’s front lines long enough for the fall conscripts to receive some training and form additional units to improve Russia’s combat power in 2023.
  • Ukrainian and Western officials continue to reiterate that they have not seen any signs of a Belarusian invasion of Ukraine, despite alarming reports in the Belarusian information space that President Alexander Lukashenko has imposed a “counter-terrorist operation” regime.
  • Putin said on October 14 that there was no additional need for further massive strikes against Ukraine.
  • Russian authorities continue to engage in “Russification” social programming schemes targeting Ukrainian children.
  • Russian sources continued to claim that Ukrainian forces were conducting counter-offensives in the northeast of the Kharkiv region, east of Kupiansk.
  • Russian troops conducted limited ground attacks west of Kreminna to regain lost ground.
  • Russian troops conducted limited ground attacks in the northwest of the Kherson region to regain lost ground.
  • Russian troops continued ground attacks in the area of Bakhmut and Donetsk.
  • Russian authorities expressed concern over Ukrainian strikes on the Russian rear in the south of the Donetsk region.
  • The Russian occupation authorities continue to consolidate control over the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP) by strengthening security measures amid negotiations to establish a nuclear safety and protection zone at the plant.
  • Russian officials continued to refer to population movements from the Kherson region as recreational “humanitarian trips” rather than evacuations.
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