Russia does not have enough "cannon fodder" and no resources to throw at the war with Ukraine - expert

  • 2022-05-05
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Russia does not have enough ''cannon fodder" and no resources to throw at the war with Ukraine, such an assessment was given by Janis Kazocins, the adviser to the President of the Republic on National Security, in an interview with the magazine Ir on the situation in Ukraine.

According to the expert, the war is going very badly for Russia. There have been attempts to quickly rearrange the battle groups that suffered losses in northern Ukraine, but the attacks in eastern Ukraine, where these soldiers have been redeployed, have not gained momentum either.

"If you want to withdraw and reorganize your forces, you have to be sure that the equipment is in the best order, not assembled from different parts in the hope that everything will work. This is a recipe for disaster. For soldiers who have been forced to retreat and have a very low level of discipline - they need a breather. We need to look at the command structure as well, which obviously is not working properly," he said, noting that Russia is making mistakes even at the simplest level, such as "tanks go on the attack alone, where enemy infantry can quite easily destroy them by hiding behind rubble, or they send infantry against well-secured positions of defense."

According to him, "the Russians simply do not have the resources to throw into the fight." "Many experts believe that this conflict could take years. I can't say I'm sure of this. Where will the Russians get their resources from? For example, when cruise missiles run out. The Russians are not able to produce them themselves, because they need technologies that sanctions do not allow them to import," said the expert.

Kazocins notes that Russian society is old, as a result of which "they simply do not have the cannon fodder to push forward and overrun the enemy with masses". "They will not succeed because they do not have the human resources. (...) What will they do with mobilized soldiers? They have not been trained through compulsory service, or they have been trained a long time ago. They will be given some equipment from warehouses that do not work or drive five kilometers and break down. They are not trained in units. (...) If a mobilization is announced in Russia, it will take time and may cause quite a lot of dissatisfaction within the country," the expert emphasized.

The expert emphasized that Russia has been weakened at such a level that, for example, it would be difficult for it to launch an attack on the Baltic states in a serious way in the near future, except with air strikes or missiles.

"This does not mean that we do not need to persuade our allies to give what we need to protect ourselves. At least a brigade in each country," said Kazocins. ''We need air defense, coastal protection, HIMARS - a high-mobility artillery missile system that allows an opponent to be hit while it is just about to attack."

Asked whether Latvia's expected decisions on strengthening the protection of the Baltic flank would be taken at the NATO summit in June, Kazocins was quite cautious, saying that it was still difficult to say. "The United States does not want to have its forces stuck in the Baltic States, where the chances of maneuver are quite small. So they want to keep them a little further, in Poland. If something happens, the Suwalki corridor is no longer important. This is a declaration of war, and these 105 kilometers will not be taken into account anymore. Then we have to see what is deployed in Kaliningrad, but with a very high probability the allied air forces could neutralize it quite quickly and defeat the Russian armed forces that have invaded the Baltic States. But it could take time for all this to be settled, and if there is even a partial occupation, we now know from Ukraine what that means. That would be another decapitation which we experienced in 1940. That is why we need enough forces to be able to resist and hold the capitals. Therefore, it is extremely important that more people join the Home Guard, and we should try to ensure that we have a NATO brigade on the ground," the expert said, adding that the situation in Latvia ''looks quite good at the moment''.