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Sep 25 46 tweets 7 min read
The Russian economists Maxim Mironov (@mironov_fm) and Oleg @itskhoki (of IE University and UCLA respectively) have published an important thread estimating the likely demographic impacts of mobilisation on Russia. A translation follows. ⬇️ /1
From @mironov_fm & @itskhoki:

Brief conclusions:

1. Over the next 6 months an attempt will be made to mobilise between 700,000 and 1 million people. /2
2. We estimate the target group for the first call-up to be 2-3 million people. In total, the probability of being drafted among members of this group exceeds 25%. /3
3. We estimate the expected casualties during the first 6 months among the conscripts at 60-70%. Of these we estimate 15-20% killed, 45-50% wounded. 4/
4. The demographic damage from the war in Ukraine to the Russian population will be many times greater than the damage from the COVID pandemic. 5/
5. We expect two waves of a spike in crime. The first wave will be among those returning from the war. The second wave will be among orphans who will grow up without fathers. 6/
6. Sabotage of conscription and all methods of evading military service is an optimal strategy at the individual level and makes it impossible to conscript significantly more young men. 7/
But this strategy does not significantly alter the number of conscripts in the first months of the campaign and thus avoid the loss of human life associated with it. 8/
Disclaimer 1. The authors of this article are not military men, but economists. Our military experience is limited to two years of training in a military department and one month of military training. 9/
Therefore, all conclusions of this article are based mainly on economic logic and expediency. 10/
Disclaimer 2. Objective figures on the size of the Russian grouping, losses, planned mobilization etc. have never been published. There are only estimates. We will rely on those figures that we believe to be the most reliable. 11/
1. At the beginning of the war the total grouping of Russian troops was estimated at 200,000. Beginning in the spring, the authorities actively recruited citizens to serve on short-term contracts to replace those killed and wounded. 12/
How many new contract servicemen were recruited, as well as how many were mobilised to the LNR/DPR, is not reliably known. In June, British intelligence estimated Russian army losses at 20,000. 13/
It can be assumed that by the end of September this figure is in the order of 35,000-40,000. If we take the ratio of killed to wounded as 1 to 3, the total losses of the Russian grouping at the end of September are of the order of 150,000 men. 14/
If we assume that at least as many were brought in as were dropped out, we get a bottom line of 150,000 men for that time. Even surviving and healthy soldiers in the original grouping need to be replaced in the near future, because they cannot fight without rest. 15/
How many soldiers would have to be drafted to replace the 350,000? At the beginning of the war they sent mostly professional contract soldiers to Ukraine. Then there was contract recruitment of motivated people who wanted to serve. 16/
Mobilization implies the conscription of non-professionals who do not want to serve, which means that their efficiency will be several times lower than that of the professional military. 17/
To make up for the losses, two to three times as many people would have to be drafted as the original grouping, i.e. 700,000-1,000,000 people. 18/
There has been much debate on social media as to what figure was actually in the 7th "secret" clause of the decree. We believe there is no point in these arguments. 19/
The authorities will urge as much as they want to change the figure in the decree at any moment, to this or that side. We should not start from a formal figure in the decree, but from a demand. 20/
As we have shown, we estimate the demand to be much higher than the 300,000 that was officially announced. /21
2. We believe that conscription will target mainly young people between 20 and 30. Older citizens, firstly, are in worse physical shape. Secondly, they are more likely to have children and social ties. 22/
The potential cost of conscripting them to the government is much higher than that of the young. 23/
Because of the demographic hole of the 1990s and early 2000s, there are now only 7.3 million men aged 20-29 in Russia. Mobilization is more likely to target those who have served. In recent years some 250,000 men a year have been drafted. 24/
If we take into account that some of them remained to serve under the contract, some of them became ineligible for different reasons, we get a potential pool of draftees of 200.000 for each year, or about 2 million people among men of 20-29 years old. 25/
If we increase the target age to 35, we get a pool of about 3 million people.

Based on an expected mobilisation of 700,000-1,000,000 men, we get a probability of conscription for those who meet the target criteria above 25% within half a year. 26/
This probability is not evenly distributed across the regions. Poor and remote regions will conscript more, rich cities less, to avoid protests. 27/
After the first days of mobilisation, we see that the authorities are following this tactic, so in poor regions there is a significant probability of people outside the target category being drafted as well. 28/
3. The expected casualties among the newly mobilised will be higher than those of the regular army, primarily because they have worse physical training, no motivation and extremely short training times. Training a military requires time and resources. 29/
The Russian authorities currently do not have enough officers to train the mobilized, nor equipment, nor time. The mobilized will be sent to the front after a few months of training (possibly after a few weeks) essentially as cannon fodder. 30/
Losses will be comparable to those of DNR troops - British intelligence estimates that as of June (3.5 months into the war) they left 55% of their original strength. It can be assumed that in the next 6 months the losses among the Russian mobilised may amount to 60-70%. 31/
Of these, 15-20% were killed, 45-50% wounded. /32
4. The excess death toll from covid in Russia was 1 million. However, covid hit mostly people over 60 who had already given birth to and raised their own children often finished their professional careers. 33/
The war in Ukraine will cause the loss of about 500,000 dead and wounded (a significant proportion of whom will be permanently disabled) in a year. These are men of the most productive age, whose entire working and social lives are ahead of them. 34/
This is a significant percentage of the total number of men in this group. There are 13 million men in Russia at the age of 20 to. 34 years of age. Besides serving, several hundred thousand men of this age could decide (or have already decided) to emigrate. 35/
Altogether, Russia could lose more than 10% of men in the 20-29 age group. /36
5. Those who have returned from war have a number of mental problems - post-traumatic syndrome in the military. In Russia in recent decades it has been the "Afghan" and "Chechen syndrome". The scale of losses in Ukraine has already exceeded both the Afghan and Chechen wars. 37/
After the war is over, Russia faces a surge in crime. Also a significant number of children, especially in poor regions, will be left fatherless, which will lead to a new wave of crime in 5-10 years when these children become teenagers. 38/
6. Independent Russian human rights activists, journalists and politicians suggest sabotaging the draft by all available means - from going abroad to not fulfilling the requirements of draft commissions. 39/
Certainly, this is a minimal resistance strategy to avoid additional loss of life in the criminal war unleashed by the Putin regime in Ukraine. 40/
Moreover, this strategy exhausts the resources of the state enforcement mechanism and will not allow for a significant increase in conscription in the medium term. 41/
Unfortunately, this strategy does not significantly change the number of conscripts in the first months of the campaign. 42/
Due to the fact that the draft potential is rather high, evading military service allows more informed and well-off young people to avoid conscription at the expense of their less fortunate peers. 43/
Consequently, such a strategy does not avoid the massive senseless loss of human life associated with sending hundreds of thousands of conscripts to the war in Ukraine. 44/
Thus, Russian civil society now faces a choice between mass protest against mobilisation and war and the loss of many tens of thousands of young lives. /end
(The original thread in Russian is linked below.)

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More from @ChrisO_wiki

Sep 27
@JayinKyiv Translation: To the Head of the Donetsk People's Republic, D. Pushilin.

We, the undersigned wives and mothers of servicemen of the 1st Army Corps of the Donetsk People's Militia, who were mobilised from Dokuchayevsk... /1
@JayinKyiv ask you to intervene in the situation and to protect our husbands and sons from the harassment of the military personnel of the Chechen Republic, to conduct an investigation and punish those responsible who mocked us by our relatives. /2
@JayinKyiv After the intensification of hostilities for the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine, as well as the protection of citizens of the Donetsk People's Republic from the Kyiv neo-Nazi regime, our men were mobilized into the ranks of the People's Militia. /3
Read 11 tweets
Sep 26
1/ While there's a lot of attention being given to the military, economic and demographic consequences of Russia's partial mobilisation (see link below for the latter), we should never forget that it has multi-generational consequences. Thread follows.
2/ The Russia-Ukraine war is an intensive industrial war of a kind not seen anywhere in the world since the Korean War (and not in Europe since WW2). On present trends, it's likely to be one of the deadliest worldwide in the last 200 years.…
3/ When the war is over, Russia and Ukraine will need to deal with a huge number of physically and mentally wounded people. Both countries have experience of this. During WW2, the former Soviet Union suffered 46,250,000 physically wounded – more than any other country in history.
Read 9 tweets
Sep 26
@sualurr, whose father was a Soviet Afghan veteran, has written of the devastating effects on family life of untreated PTSD among soldiers returning from war. It's an important read, but not an easy one, so trigger warnings etc. Translated thread follows. ⬇️
2/ From @sualurr: I'll tell you about life with a man who survived the war. Spoiler: it's fucked up.

The thread is very long, more for those who think they'll come back a hero.
3/ My mother and father met at university, and my mother knew from the first look, the first conversation, that she would spend the rest of her life with this man, and that was what kept her from giving him up, even when it was not too late.
Read 41 tweets
Sep 23
A very interesting insight into the Russian Army's current manpower shortages and the purposes of the recent mobilisation has been posted by commentator Alexander Kots on Telegram (h/t @RALee85). English translation follows.
Translation: Mobilisation is not announced for the good of life. We have to admit that today's grouping is not enough for the goals set. For us the fighting has gone into a defensive phase, when there is practically no advance. /1
It is insignificant in some areas and is positional in nature. At the same time we feel an acute shortage of riflemen, mechanics-drivers, operators-drivers - motorized riflemen, in a word. /2
Read 16 tweets
Sep 21
1/ There'll be lots of commentary this morning about the logistical difficulties of Putin's announcement of a partial mobilisation. But I thought I'd add a few points, based on my own personal observations, of what it means politically and for the troops already in Ukraine. Image
2/ First, politics: Putin was clearly under a lot of pressure to react to Russia's defeat east of Kharkiv. This is very likely his way of responding to increasingly strident demands. IMO, this shows that he fears the nationalist flank more than the general public.
2/ Second, morale. As I've previously documented from Russian soldiers' accounts and intercepted phone calls published by Ukraine, many Russian soldiers are badly demoralised and want to go home. 20-40% of the men from some units have reportedly quit.
Read 16 tweets
Sep 20
1/ Following @ian_matveev's earlier mega-thread analysing the reasons for Russia's defeat east of Kharkiv (link below), he's now posted a follow-up thread assessing Ukraine's options in the south. An English translation (in 32 parts) follows next. ⬇️
2/ From @ian_matveev: Kherson will be freed, probably before the end of the year. The only remaining question is how exactly this will happen. In this thread I will discuss three plausible scenarios for a Ukrainian offensive on the right bank of the Dnieper.
2/ Let me briefly recap the situation. The Russian troops are trapped - the bridges across the Dnieper are destroyed, the supply comes via ferry crossings, and this is clearly not enough. Significant forces were moved to defend the front earlier, including from the "LDNR".
Read 33 tweets

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