Dara Massicot Profile picture
Jun 29, 2022 15 tweets 3 min read Read on X
I continue to look for signs of long-term stability or problems in Russian military personnel recruitment and retention for 2023+ as a result of their war on Ukraine. Some preliminary thoughts from about the Russian spring draft. Conscript intake numbers are low so far (/1).
The 2022 spring draft runs from April – 15 July; roughly 85% of the time has elapsed as of today. In the 8 Russian regions I found information on conscription intake, most are at 30% or less of their conscript quota as of mid-June (/2)
8 oblasts is only 17% of total in Russia, but all 8 are coming up short as of June. These regions are geographically diverse and diverse in population density. This suggests an overall trend of sluggish conscript intake. (/3)
How low are the numbers I’ve found in 8 regions? The best I found was 35% intake with 66% of time elapsed. Most were between 18-30%. Some as low as single digit % of quota, with 66% of draft period time elapsed. (/4)
I attempted to compare these regions to previous draft cycles to see if this lag is typical. For example is there a big surge at the end of the cycle? And there sometimes is. Lots of holes in the information but, (/5)
For the few data points I found, the spring 2022 draft intake numbers are lower at this point than the same point in previous cycles, suggesting this spring is different. With only a few data points available, this view should be caveated significantly and revised as needed (/6)
Earlier, I noted that the casualty rates, stonewalling from the military about conditions, and pressures on conscripts, families in Russia might return to the old ways of hiding their sons or paying bribes to keep them away from the draft (/7) foreignaffairs.com/articles/russi…
..or potential draftees delay arriving at the commissariat for as long as possible. Already bribes are happening, apparently the going rate is 14,000 rubles in Siberia for a fake exemption (fines if caught are much higher) /8
In some regions, parents want assurances from commissariats that their sons won’t be sent to Ukraine. I noted before that when MOD leaders make statements that conscripts won’t be sent to the front line, it’s usually a sign of their worry. 2022 edition: vesti.ru/article/2696722
The Duma is changing the law that conscripts can now convert directly to contract service immediately upon being drafted, instead of waiting 3-4 months to go through basic training (i.e., allowing conscripts be legally eligible to fight in Ukraine immediately). (/10)
This is being done to fill holes, along with Russia’s other sources of personnel. The pressure on conscripts walking through the door to convert to contract service will be intense: large sums of money, peer pressure, lack of knowledge on rights etc. /11
What are signposts that Russia is struggling to make conscription quotas? They will extend the draft period through the summer to reach the number. They may or may not announce the extension. (/12)
a more serious signpost would be a more muscular search for those who are trying to evade or delay their summons, to once again check documents on the street, knocking on doors, going to their job, school, etc, like it was in the 90s or early 2000s. (/13)
So far there is no indication of that. There could be a lag in intake and by end of July they will announce that quotas were met. (/14)
In sum, it’s too soon to tell if there are problems in conscription that can't be recovered by the end of this summer. Some early data points suggest problems; perhaps families are holding back their sons or making deferment arrangements. I’ll keep updating this thread. (END)

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More from @MassDara

Feb 20
A thread on Avdiivka, what it its loss says about Russian strategy and capabilities, and what they may try to do next. /1 Image
At Avdiivka, multiple Russian brigade and regiment elements attacked intensely for five months. They gained 31 kilometers for an estimated cost of over 600 armored vehicles @naalsio. /2
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Jan 12
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What are Gerasimov’s specific contributions as commander in chief of this war since Feb 2023? C2 structure and defensive lines and many tactical modifications were inherited from Surovikin. VKS experimentation accelerated under Afzalov’s command but was in place before. /2
1. Gerasimov was the senior commander during the 2023 Ukrainian counteroffensive. Russian lines bent but did not break. One skilled deputy was detained + exiled, the second was sent out to fight. One CAA general absorbed the blows, lost his temper for his men, and was sacked.
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Jan 4
Russia launched missiles from the DPRK up to 460km inside Ukraine, according to declassified intelligence (assessments for other launches are ongoing). A few thoughts. /1
Looking at that 460km range, when the max for that system is 900km (per John Kirby), I have some working theories on Russian thinking on precedents or “norms” for externally provided missile use, but I will wait to see what else is released. /2
Without knowing ranges of the other strikes from this system it is too soon to interpret the significance of 460km range yet. Was this a misfire (landed in empty field)? deliberate lofting of the missile to shorten range (effective v max kinematic range), targeting choice? /3
Read 6 tweets
Jan 2
This is a good chronology and summary of today’s missile attacks on Ukraine, h/t ⁦@JanR210⁩. Russian forces continue experimenting with missile arrival times, routes, & launch profiles in an attempt to overwhelm missile defenses in Kyiv. /1 war.obozrevatel.com/kovalenko-ross…
I share the view that Russia has been preparing these strikes for some time— their targeting cycle is still slow and they’ve pooledresources for months. be skeptical of any suggestions this was a “retaliation for Belgorod” or similar, that would only be a Russian PR claim. /2
Russia had attempted variants of this complex strike last year, when they targeted the Patriot battery in Kyiv. They are trying to exhaust Ukrainian interceptors and systems. Other parts of Ukraine are more exposed. /3
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Dec 11, 2023
For those in town making choices on security assistance to Ukraine, if you need more reasons, then I have a warning to share with you about the Kremlin. I feel that I have a duty to warn. /1
The Kremlin is starting to gloat that it is beating us – the west. If they feel like they can win by outlasting the political will of the United States and Europe about Ukraine, they will become much worse in the years to come, cocky and partially reconstituted. /2
It is my job to look at different futures being rebuilt on the horizon. And I tell you that a bruised , vengeful, and overconfident Russia is one of them that I see on the path we are on, unless choices are made now. /3
Read 12 tweets
Nov 16, 2023
Russia's Secretary of the Security Council Patrushev made remarks today about economic mobilization while in the Central Federal District (green below). It's important to read his speech in context. Most of it was about securing sites from drone attacks and preventing sabotage /1 Image
Patrushev claimed Russia has dealt with "8,000 attacks by the Ukrainian Armed Forces" in border regions Bryansk, Kursk, and Belgorod. Note: these districts have been under increased restrictions for over a year. (think of their status like martial law ultra-lite)/2
Patrushev then adds the importance of protecting critical infrastructure from drones and sabotage, and for this region to develop countermeasures. He often emphasized "biologically hazardous facilities" as needing extra protection /3
Read 17 tweets

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