Russia creates new volunteer ground force as troop numbers flag, UK intelligence questions effectiveness

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Looking for Russia Reinforce his ground forces A new ground force of volunteer recruits is being formed to fight in Ukraine as its casualty numbers rise, the UK Ministry of Defense said on Wednesday.

In an intelligence update, defense officials said Moscow is recruiting volunteers from across the country to join Russia’s new 3rd Army Corps, which will be based in the city of Mulino, east of Moscow.

Members of pro-Russian forces drive an armored vehicle with a “Z” symbol on its side in the separatist-controlled village of Bugas during the Ukraine-Russia conflict in Ukraine’s Donetsk region on March 6, 2022.
(REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

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Britain’s Ministry of Defense said Russian commanders were “very likely to face the competing priorities of strengthening the Donbass offensive and strengthening defenses against expected Ukrainian counter-attacks in the south.”

Russia’s newest military force has been opened to volunteers up to age 50 with “only a secondary-school education” and in return recruits are offered “lucrative cash bonuses” after their deployment.

According to intelligence updates, the Russian army corps typically has between 15,000 and 20,000 soldiers, but British defense officials believe its newest force is “unlikely to be decisive” in Moscow’s battle.

Militants of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic stand in front of an apartment building damaged by recent shelling in the separatist-controlled town of Yasinuvata (Yasinovataya) in Donetsk region, Ukraine, on February 24, 2022.

Militants of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic stand in front of an apartment building damaged by recent shelling in the separatist-controlled town of Yasinuvata (Yasinovataya) in Donetsk region, Ukraine, on February 24, 2022.
(REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

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“Given the very limited willingness of people to volunteer for combat in Ukraine, it may be difficult for Russia to bring 3 AC up to this strength,” the Defense Ministry assessed.

The announcement comes days after the Pentagon said it believed Russia had inflicted heavy casualties in Ukraine, with an estimated 70,000 to 80,000 wounded or killed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin It has refused to call its invasion of Ukraine anything but a “special military operation”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the State Awards ceremony at the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Russia, June 12, 2022.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the State Awards ceremony at the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Russia, June 12, 2022.
(Contributor/Getty Images)

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Putin has also suggested that he wants to fully deploy Russia’s military might in the former Soviet nation. Western defense officials have disputed the claim.

The start of military drills along Ukraine’s border has also raised concerns that Russia may consider using foreign support from nations such as Belarus.

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