Russia was forced to “sacrifice quality for quantity” in the war with Ukraine

MILAN — Despite losing on average hundreds of armored vehicles and artillery systems each month, Russia was able to replenish its stockpile by regenerating thousands of stored vehicles in 2023 – a rate of attrition that experts expect Moscow could face for several more years.

Last year, Russia reactivated from storage at least 1,180-1,280 main battle tanks and about 2,470 infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers, according to “The Military Balance 2024″ a report released Tuesday by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies think tank.

The report estimates that from February 2022, when Russia started full-scale invasion of UkraineMoscow’s combat vehicle losses have approached 8,800, of which more than 3,000 were tanks.

“To put it this way, Russia’s tank losses on the battlefield are higher than the number it had when it launched its offensive against Ukraine in 2022,” Bastian Giggerich, director of the IISS, said during a webinar held on February 13.

In one article Published by the think tank on February 12, defense research analysts Yohann Michel and Michael Gjerstad found commercially available images showing that Russia has a variety of refurbishing facilities. These include 10 central tank reserve bases, at least 37 mixed equipment and weapons storage bases, and at least 12 artillery storage centers.

“It is our assessment, therefore, that Russia will be able to sustain its attack on Ukraine at current attrition rates for another 2-3 years, and perhaps longer,” they wrote.

However, Giegerich noted that the Kremlin’s strategy of relying on refurbished and stored legacy equipment — which is often quite old — comes at a cost.

“Vehicles coming out of Russian production facilities are in most cases not new. In this way, the country has to sacrifice quality for quantity,” Giegerich said.

The Russian military has also struggled with recruiting efforts.

“Persistently high loss rates have kept most units below plant capacity. Shortages of replacement officers and the limited training time given to newly mobilized personnel significantly hampered the combat effectiveness of many units,” the new report says. “Bullying statements by government and industry officials about recruiting and producing equipment to support forces deployed in Ukraine in 2023 appeared to belie reality.”

“However, existing formations and units were partially replenished and a number of new wartime regiments were established through limited mobilization efforts conducted in late 2022, combined with a variety of ongoing recruitment efforts,” the think tank added. .

Indeed, the Ukrainians are intercepting published Last fall by Reuters shows Russian conscripts complaining about poor training, heavy casualties and mediocre equipment.

Elisabeth Gosselin-Malo is Defense News’ Europe correspondent. It covers a wide range of topics related to military procurement and international security, and specializes in aviation reporting. Its headquarters are in Milan, Italy.

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