"All manpower, no metal" - Ukrainian mobilisation, equipment shortages, and training
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Previously, I've looked at the way in which Russian force design and political decision-making have left Russian forces with a surplus of heavy equipment, but an inadequate supply of quality infantry.
Today, thanks to a Patron vote, I look at Ukraine's situation. There, the combination of volunteers, popular resistance, and compulsory mobilisation filled the ranks with hundreds of thousands of new troops - but where a shortage of equipment and training has prevented them from realising the true potential of a mobilised, committed nation at war.
There are three overarching caveats that I want to put forward on this video
- The quality of data on this topic is subject is low and findings generally carry wide error margins
- I do not go into great depth about the distinction between the Ukrainian Army, TDF, NGU, and the many other units that are contributing to the fighting. Please keep in mind the impact these distinctions might have as I go through the presentation.
- This video is not intended to be, in any way, a slight on the fighting power and spirit of Ukrainian troops. I think calling out the issue of equipment shortages as well as the limitations of the mobilisation system in fact attests to what the TDF, Army, and other forces have achieved given their resources.
There are also some smaller ones on terminology that might be worth mentioning:
I use the terms like volunteers and persons 'called up' in a soft fashion. Many of those I describe as 'called up' were called up as a result of voluntary enlistment and registration while largely volunteer formations may include infusions of conscripts.
"Mobilisation" is traditionally associated with the mass call ups of conscripts. The Ukrainian experience is much more of a hybrid, combining popular, spontaneous resistance, the mass enlistment of volunteers, and conscription.
00:00:00 -- Opening Words
00:01:34 -- What Am I Covering?
00:02:29 -- Today's Sponsor: MORNING BREW
00:03:36 -- Mobilisation - The Concept
00:05:20 -- The Soviet System
00:07:16 -- Ukraine's Reforms
00:09:12 -- The Ukrainian Mobilisation Experience
00:11:22 -- The Opening Callup
00:14:54 -- Evolving Mobilisation
00:17:55 -- Women in Service
00:20:12 -- Demography and Mobilisation
00:23:43 -- Where Are We Now?
00:24:58 -- How Much Materiel Does Ukraine Have?
00:26:25 -- Why I Don't Use Russian MOD Figures
00:28:16 -- Why I Don't Use Russian MOD Figures: The Examples
00:30:01 -- The Base-Loss-Replenish Method
00:33:38 -- Observed Equipment Method
00:34:20 -- The New
00:35:13 -- The Old
00:36:06 -- The Ugly
00:37:21 -- Statements/Observations
00:40:30 -- The Combined Picture
00:42:41 -- A Diverse Army
00:43:20 -- So What Needs To Happen?
00:46:28 -- Training & The Training Issue
00:49:43 -- Resolution Methods
00:51:52 -- Earned Veterancy
00:54:11 -- Scale and Sustainability
00:56:06 -- What Does This Mean?
00:58:18 -- Offensive Readiness
01:00:28 -- Future Potential?
01:01:48 -- Conclusions
01:02:54 -- Channel Update
Ukrainian equipment pre-war:
Military Balance 2021 (as always, for consistency)
Ukrainian loss data:
OSINT visual confirmed:
Interview with Ruslan Pukhov:
Ukraine at War - Paving the Road from Survival to Victory - RUSI (I particularly concur with their contention on priority equipment classes)
Ukrainian Resupply - Pledged or Delivered (estimated)
Statements on enrolment of women in Ukraine (in Ukrainian)
Visual confirmation on equipment use:
Various, but particular credit to https://twitter.com/UAWeapons
Original Ukrainian general mobilisation:
NYT piece on some issues with the mobilisation process (I do not share the implied assessment on what realistic standards are during wartime).
Ukrainian mobilisation progress: