Recently mobilized Russian Reservists have been dying “in large numbers” in Ukraine, according to the British Ministry of Defence (MoD).
In its update for Friday regarding the progress of the conflict in Ukraine, the British government stated that the deployment of the reservists in response to Vladimir Putin's “partial mobilization” of hundreds of thousands of people who have military experience has “often” been “characterized by confusion over eligibility for service, inadequate training and personal equipment, and commitment to highly attritional combat missions.”
The MoD stated that, specifically, reservists ” likely experienced particularly heavy casualties after being committed to dig ambitious trench systems while under artillery fire around the Luhansk Oblast town of Svatove,” in reference to a region within the Donbas which the Russians brought nearly entirely under their control, but in which they now are under intense pressure.
The British added that large areas of reservists have been lost in forlorn, hopeless attacks while Moscow seeks to gain some momentum in the war.
“In Donetsk Oblast, reservists have been killed in large numbers in frontal assaults into well-established Ukrainian defensive zones around the town of Bakhmut,” the British declared, referring to the eastern town that is the focus of Russia's ongoing offensive operations during a time they've had to carry out large-scale retreats throughout the country, especially those in Kharkiv (Kharkov) as well as Kherson.
“The Kremlin will likely be concerned that an increasing number of reservists' families are prepared to risk arrest by protesting against the conditions their relatives are serving under,” the MoD suggested.
Concerning the battlefield skills of reservists and combat skills, the British said they had “numerous examples” indicating that they are “highly likely not having their medical status adequately reviewed and many are being compelled to serve with serious, chronic health conditions.”
Moscow appears to have admitted that there were problems with the partial mobilization and Valentina Matviyenko, who is chair of the Russia's Federation Council (Senate), warned governors that “[i]ncorrect cases of mobilization… are provoking fierce reactions in society, and rightly so” in September.
“Some [officials] are assuming that handing in their report (to their superiors) quickly is more important than correctly fulfilling this important mission,” she added.
“This is not acceptable… Be sure that the partial mobilization is completed in full and completely in accordance with the standards. And with not a single oversight!”
Her decision came after the news that, among other errors, officials called a 63-year-old diabetic and sent him to a medical camp in accordance with the AFP report.
President Putin, for his part, visited military mothers earlier this month informing them that the temporary mobilization was needed to confront “the war machine of the collective West” and also that the sons of their families were “heroes”, according to Russian state media.