Putin's mobilization threat: get dragged into the Gulag here, or face Ukrainian bullets over there
Intelligence officials in Great Britain are telling reporters that “the Kremlin’s real goal is to mobilize 1 million,” in the planned conscription announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, according to The Guardian newspaper in London. British defense officials “reiterated in a briefing on Friday that it was their belief it will be very hard for Russia to reach 300,000, never mind any larger figure.” Another official, speaking anonymously, told the Guardian, that Putin’s announced goal of drafting 300,000 into the Russian army is “an immense number of people to then try to get in any sense of semblance to be able to fight in Ukraine. The authorities will face major challenges even in mustering this number of personnel…and we think that they will be very challenged in training, let alone equipping such a large force quickly.”
The Washington Post reported yesterday that conscripts are being told they are to be sent for 15 days of training before potential deployment to the front lines in Ukraine.
Allow me to put this into perspective for you. At West Point during our first-year summer training in what was in those days called Beast Barracks, we didn’t handle a rifle for anything other than close-order drill for the first three weeks. When we finally began instruction on the M-14 and M-16 rifles, we spent the first part of a week learning safety procedures when handling firearms and the second part learning to disassemble, clean, and reassemble both weapons. Only then were we trucked out to the firing range to begin learning to shoot the things. We were issued one bullet at a time when firing the weapons from the standing, kneeling, sitting, and prone positions at first. Finally, after several days of this, we were given clips (for the M-14) and magazines (for the M-16) and taught to use the weapons for more rapid fire at targets downrange. All in all, our weapons training took two weeks, off an on, with time out for meals, physical training, parades, and classroom instruction on tactics and other subjects.
Then we were given several weeks of tactical training in the field, learning squad and platoon maneuver, planning for combat attacks, how to execute orderly repositioning of forces and how to defend fixed positions.
The U.S. Army spends about 10 weeks in Basic Training of new recruits and then puts them through another two to three months of what is called Advanced Individual Training for the various combat arms, like Infantry, Armor, Signal Corps, Field Artillery, Engineers, Air Defense, and Aviation. Training for service in non-combat specialties like Ordnance (ammunition), Transportation, Civil Affairs, Military Intelligence, and Psychological Operations can take longer. Soldiers can also be sent for training in Airborne Operations, Special Forces, and Rangers, all of which can add months to the total time necessary to train a soldier to be ready for combat.
Fifteen days? Putin isn’t training soldiers, he’s preparing to send human beings to be live targets for the Ukrainian army.
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