10 Days to Combat or Don’t Tell Mom I’m in Lugansk
Putin says some mobiki see combat after as few as 10 training days. But who allowed things to get so bad that this is warranted?
On October 14 Vladimir Putin revealed that 16,000 newly-mobilized men were already in combat. Since mobilization was decreed on September 20th that means the men could have had at the most 24 days of (refreshment) training.
However, Putin explained that some of them received as little as 5 days of basic training followed by as little as 5 more days of training once they joined their permanent unit:
Putin replied that after being drafted, the mobilized undergo primary training in “formation units”, which takes from five to 10 days, after which training in a combat unit follows from five to 15 days. Then the soldiers are already sent to the troops taking part in the hostilities.
In his own words then Putin explained that some mobiki are in combat after 10 training days (others have up to 25 days).
This is something that I expected would happen. I wrote when mobilization was proclaimed that:
“There is a certain number of troops (20,000-50,000) whom are needed urgently and who can do more good untrained right now, than trained but three months from now.
It is something that under the circumstances is not a blunder. Both because with so much of its personnel from the land combat arms committed to the war, Russia doesn’t necessarily have amazing training to give to the mobiki in the first place. And also because that is simply what the needs of the front are at the moment.
Nonetheless, after its constant 7-month crap about how “everything is proceeding to plan” and how regular citizens would not be sent to fight, the Kremlin can not possibly be let off the hook for now inserting regular citizens into combat after just 10 days of refreshment training.
Yes, this is the right call in these circumstances. But who is it that allowed the circumstances to get so bad that this sort of a desperation move is necessary? Let’s get something straight, inserting men into high-intensity combat after 10 days may be correct, but it is not normal. This is some African-level of travesty here.
Let’s be clear about what happened here.
Ukraine is not the Third Reich. The Kremlin picked a fight with a state that is 4 times smaller than Russia, and then waited so long to make a necessary but iffy decision, and allowed things to get so bad, where it now has to throw thousands of regular Russians into combat after 10 days of training to save its ass.
Russia did not find itself under a surprise invasion by Nazi Germany. The Third Panzer Army is not gazing at Moscow spires from Klin. No, this is supposedly a leisurely “Special Military Operation”, not even worth calling a war. Yet now thousands of blue-collar Russians have to go and put out the fires after being prepared for the insanely complex and lethal job for 10 days.
The reason this is so preposterous is just how predictable this was, and how easily it could have all been avoided.
I wrote in March, less than three weeks into the war, that a different leader might at this point admit to the failure of SMO and announce the start of a national effort right there and then:
Launching a halfway war has already proven a mistake. Reassuring the nation that the war can continue to victory as a halfway effort without greater Russian mobilization and sacrifices could prove to be another.
A different leader might have opted to tell the nation this was a critical moment for the war and that an all-national push was needed to end this quickly. Putin has chosen the opposite.
In April I wrote that delaying sending in citizen soldiers (at the time I was talking about serving conscripts rather than mobiki) was just going to make their situation all the more difficult when they finally have to be sent in anyway:
The Russian government is also acting like there is no urgency to the war. As if whether Russia springs into action today, 6 months from now, or 2 years from now doesn’t make a difference.
I have never seen anything so feckless.
[T]he Kremlin stubbornly refuses to fight an actual war. The Russian effort is clearly crying out for manpower. At the same time there isn’t even a partial mobilization, there isn’t retention of conscripts, there isn’t even deployment of conscripts to Ukraine. The army has literally been told to treat one-third of its manpower as untouchable and to leave it at home.
What will be said of Putin’s “humanism” if months from now conscripts nonetheless have to be sent in, but it’s a new batch that isn’t as well trained (the current one isn’t being retained) and only to face a larger, more experienced and reequipped Ukrainian army?
Where is the mercy of standing by as Ukrainian forces reform and expand, and only moving decisively many months into the war after the West has been allowed ample time to ensure the fighting will be of the utmost intensity?
[T]he enemy is being given ample time to build up its force, only after which Moscow will start using Russia’s draftee soldiers.
If the narod was tapped for this war in April when Russia was still (glacially) advancing and before Ukraine had expanded and reconstituted its military capacity, this effort could have been far more effective and been leveraged for more. The citizen-soldiers would have had the far easier job of maintaining momentum rather than be placed in a position where they now have to extinguish urgent fires and turn the tide against an enemy that has been allowed ample time to grow. Moreover, if this was done in April they could have had the “luxury” of receiving an actual fucking training.
This is a war that is 8-months old, that was in the making since spring 2021, and that relates to a conundrum that has been apparent since at least 2004, and yet the Procrastinator-in-Chief allowed things to get to where the situation has to be bailed out by sending people into high-intensity combat after 10-day refresher courses! Has there not been ample time to plan and to prepare to handle things in a way that is less costly for Russian blood?? Is this a joke or what? If you purposely set out to mess up things as badly as this you probably could not engineer this crisis. A monkey picking options at random would have to do better than this.
And it’s against effing Ukraine!! The 404 banana republic, failed state, oligarch-captured, corruption heaven, identity crisis, cargo-cultist Ukraine! It is against this entity that you allowed yourself to fall into a position where you have to feed the front with men after 10 days of training as if it were 1941 again and you’re Stalin fending off Guderian’s spearheads! How in the world did you manage that?? That takes extra special talent!
Another thing. That mobilization will only affect individuals who have already served as contract soldiers or more likely as conscripts performing their mandatory 1-year national service is not a saving grace of the mobilization. It is the most preposterous aspect of the whole thing.
Russian draft is mandatory and universal on paper, but in practice one-third dodges the process altogether, mostly by bribing a doctor or paying to remain a fictional student until they become too old for the draft.
So what this means in practice is that everyone who successfully dodged the first time now has nothing more to worry about. Only the underprivileged who already pulled the short straw once before are eligible!
By rights, the mobilization should only affect those who dodged and have yet to serve! Why should those who have already contributed contribute once again, when some have not even done it for the first time?
Let the Kremlin round up the former and present “eternal students” and form Shock Armies to terrorize the svidomy and NATO! They are already great at dodging things so perhaps they will require even fewer than 10 training days.
And let them be led into the fray by the sons of Peskov and Medvedev. Covered by drones piloted by Putin’s daughters. There was once a tradition of state service in Imperial Russia. A noble couldn’t hope to see high office or high honor without first having at least briefly served in the military, and preferably having won some small glory. Something that they chased after bravely as even the war-cynic Tolstoy attests to. Not the worst tradition ever. Putin styles himself something of a traditionalist. He can start by restoring this one.