UK intel says Russia is rushing reserve troops into battle with ‘barely usable’ rifles, creating a new kind of headache for Putin’s generals

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    Reservists drafted during the partial mobilisation attend a departure ceremony in Sevastopol, Crimea, on September 27, 2022.
    Reservists drafted throughout the partial mobilisation attend a departure ceremony in Sevastopol, Crimea, on September 27, 2022.

    • Russia despatched newly mobilized reservist troops to Ukraine with “barely usable” rifles, UK intel says.
    • Britain’s protection ministry mentioned some of these troopers are utilizing weapons designed in 1959. 
    • Different sorts of weapons utilized by Russia on the battlefield might hamstring logistical efforts.  

    Russian reservist troops despatched to combat in Ukraine have arrived on the entrance strains with “barely usable” rifles, Britain’s protection ministry mentioned Monday, a transfer more likely to produce new logistical strains for Moscow’s navy management. 

    Thousands of newly mobilized reservists have been deployed to the battlefield over the previous few weeks, Britain’s protection ministry shared in an intelligence update. Facing mounting setbacks in his conflict efforts, Russian President Vladimir Putin introduced the partial navy mobilization of tons of of 1000’s of his nation’s reservists in September. 

    British intelligence mentioned in lots of instances these reservists have arrived in Ukraine “poorly equipped,” and Russian officers grew involved as a result of some people had been even despatched with out weapons.

    Citing open supply imagery, nonetheless, Britain’s protection ministry mentioned that mobilized reservists who did present up with rifles had been typically issued with AKM assault rifles. Designed by former Soviet basic Mikhail Kalashnikov in 1959, this weapon was constructed to interchange the AK-47 — which was launched shortly after the top of World War II — and was later changed by the AK-74 throughout the Seventies.  

    Britain’s protection ministry mentioned many of the AKM rifles given to Russian reservists are “likely in barely usable condition following poor storage.”

    These weapons additionally differ from newer rifles assigned to Putin’s common fight models, just like the AK-12 or AK-74M, in that they use differing kinds of ammunition. AKMs use 7.62mm ammunition, whereas the AK-12 and AK-74M use 5.45mm ammunition.

    “The integration of reservists with contract soldiers and combat veterans in Ukraine will mean Russian logisticians will have to push two types of small arms ammunition to front line positions, rather than one,” Britain’s protection ministry mentioned, including that it’ll “likely further complicate Russia’s already strained logistics systems.”

    Logistical and provide complications — in addition to Russia’s faltering efficiency in Ukraine — have more and more sowed pressure all through Moscow’s military leadership. In September, Putin even fired one basic for these points. 

    Relying on outdated and outdated gear is additionally not a new facet of Putin’s unprovoked conflict in Ukraine. Beyond the newly mobilized reservists, Russian forces — like conscripts — have had to make use of decades-old rifles that exited manufacturing way back. In shedding their extra modern equipment, Russian troops have even been pressured to tug obsolete heavy weapons — like Soviet-era tanks — from storage.

    Monday’s intelligence replace got here as Russian forces fired a barrage of missiles at Ukraine’s essential infrastructure, Ukrainian officers said, triggering water and electrical energy shortages. The nation’s protection ministry shared that it managed to efficiently down dozens of missiles.   

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