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Desperate Putin trying to beef up troops but 'won't have enough men for even one new army'

NewsDesperate Putin trying to beef up troops but 'won't have enough men for even one new army'

Russia has likely started to create new formations to support its ground forces as Ukraine continues its counter-offensive, the British Ministry of Defence said.

In its latest intelligence assessment, the Defence Ministry noted the Kremlin has so far mobilised for the most part reservists “to back-fill established formations, or as part of territorial defence infantry regiments”.

The new formations being built up in Russia will likely be deployed in Ukraine – but may also be included in a longer-term plan to beef up the units that may need to face NATO troops should tensions with the Western military alliance break down, the British MoD suggested.

The intelligence update read: “Russia will likely deploy any new formation as a reserve force in Ukraine.

“However, in the longer term, Russia aspires to strengthen its forces facing NATO.”

Providing a glimpse of the state of the Russian Army, the MoD added: “Without a major new wave of mandatory mobilisation, Russia is unlikely to find enough new troops to resource even one new army.”

The MoD noted that, while Russia has rarely established new, all-arms organisations designed to be self-sufficient forces, it launched in the summer of 2022 the 3rd Army Corps.

However, the intelligence update said, the corps “generally performed very poorly”.

This comes days after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law raising the upper age limit for Russian reservists by five years in a bid to boost troop numbers.

This means men who completed their compulsory military service can be mobilised up to the age of 40, 50, or 55, depending on their category.

The age limit for senior officers has been raised to 65, while that for high-ranking officers has become 70.

Russia has lost more than 247,000 troops since it invaded Ukraine in late February last year, according to the Kyiv Post.

Ukraine launched its much-anticipated summer counter-offensive in early June and is currently focusing on the Bakhmut area as well as Donetsk.

Last week, Kyiv reconquered Staromaiorske in the Donetsk region, a village of huge strategic importance as it gives Ukraine access to the TO518 farm road leading to the Russian-held port city of Mariupol.

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