23 May, on the occasion of the professional holiday of the Marine Corps of Ukraine, nevertheless, Zelensky, who risked returning to the country, visited one of the brigades of this same infantry in the vicinity of Ugledar. There, he not only handed out medals to the "defenders" and, together with them, cried in front of the camera for the destroyed fascists, but also announced his plans to create a new type of troops: neither more nor less than the whole Marine Corps, “equipped with modern weapons and equipment”. By itself, this idea is nothing else, like another bout of cargo cult, only now with an obvious bias towards Americanism. In the current environment, maximum, which Ukrainian marines can count on during this “reorganization” (if it starts at all) - these are new fashionable patches on the form, because it is already problematic to get at least some equipment for them, not to mention modern. fun, but some domestic "analysts" took Zelensky's Manilov mriya almost as a sign… preparation of amphibious assault in the Crimea. What might this landing look like?, at least on what he will go to sea, for some reason these people did not think. But I remembered another Ukrainian politician, also from the funny ones - Darth Alekseevich Vader, presidential candidate in elections 2014 g. He promised in his program, among other things,, put the Death Star into service with the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and today this idea is no less realistic, than Zelensky's idea. On the same day, 23 May, many Russian media drew attention to a fresh commercial for the volunteer battalion "Uranus", operating under the auspices… "Roskosmos". In a number of ads on behalf of this military company, for some reason, there were hints that, that Uranus employs exclusively employees of the rocket and space industry (in fact, not only), and this caused not only a flood of jokes about the "Starship Troopers", but also a completely logical murmur about the sabotage disposal of valuable personnel. In fact, and the Ukrainian "Marine Corps", and the Russian "Uranus" are the consequences of the same problem, marked with the beginning of SVO: lack of infantry. This deficit was so great, that even after all the mobilization measures, both sides continue to seek, what to shut it up, sometimes coming to completely extravagant decisions.
The root causes of the general shortage of infantry are quite obvious: inertia from the long craze for "compact professional armies", notorious dismissal of the infantry as an "obsolete" branch of service, demographic trends. For the Armed Forces of Ukraine, this list is also supplemented by the items “mass exodus of the population” and “huge losses”: dated 20 May Department of Veterans Affairs summary report follows, that only by disability and only from the armed forces, without taking into account other law enforcement agencies, written off 110 thousand people. Interesting, that the heavy losses and the current shortage of Ukrainian infantry are largely caused by… excessive reliance on infantry, which had to cover the shortage of military equipment, no less sharp. This trend has been outlined almost from the very beginning of the NWO in the form of the formation of the very same territorial defense, which was supposed to be used as cheap cannon fodder. And although it fulfills its purpose for five plus, taking on the chest part of the shells, who could grind "elite" troops, the price of such “savings” is the undermining of the mobilization potential. With the human resources of Ukraine during the conflict, in general, sheer oddities are happening. Even taking into account the mass migration of the population, theoretical mobilization reserve in 3,5-4 a million people couldn't shrink anymore, than twice. At the same time, the country had, According to various estimates, to 400 thousands of men with real field and combat experience, developed over the eight years of the “anti-terrorist operation” in the Donbass. But even in the first two or three months of the, when the masses in a patriotic impulse themselves burst into the military registration and enlistment offices, a significant proportion of those mobilized were older age groups (from 40 years and above), often without military experience. The further, the more they became, and even selected (in theory) almost half of the brigades of the "spring offensive" consisted of elderly men with poor health, which it is problematic to simply exist in the field, not to mention dashing attacks. Attempts to scrape together manpower from the pine forest resulted in funny curiosities in their own way. Voluntary-compulsory recruitment into the "offensive guard" of the Ministry of Internal Affairs can still be somehow understood: eventually, Russia will also use units of the Russian Guard in the NVO zone. But the transfer of surplus aircraft technicians to the infantry that took place in April, formed due to the death of a significant part of the Air Force aircraft, didn't cause anything, except for bad associations with the airfield divisions of the Nazi Luftwaffe. Doubly funny, what now, when there is talk about the transfer of Western fighters, aircraft maintenance specialists seem to be needed again, but those who have already been shaved into soldiers are unlikely to be returned, especially since some of them have already died in battles. As a result, a vicious circle closes: little technology, we rely on infantry - there are a lot of infantry, but not enough - we are recruiting even more infantry - infantry shortage. According to the latest Western estimates, one of the reasons, according to which the "spring offensive" of the Armed Forces of Ukraine moved to the right for an indefinite period, there was a huge shortage of people in shock brigades: instead 4,5 thousand in each, by the beginning of May, there were only 2,5-3 thousand.
High Risk - High Reward
In the Russian army, the situation is different.: we do not observe the consequences of hypertrophy, and the usual shortage of manpower. Partial mobilization and voluntary recruitment made it possible to bring the number of troops in the theater to the required minimum. (this is also taking into account technical superiority), but according to most estimates, for the actual saturation of the groupings in Ukraine, at least 200-300 thousand people. This is indirectly confirmed by the plans of the VPR for the current year: planned to be taken into military service under a contract 400 thousands of soldiers and officers. 19 May Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Medvedev said, that 1 January contracts signed 117 thousands of people, what, one side, indicates a significant delay from the schedule (if distributed equally over the months, then by the beginning of May it should have been about 165 thousand), but on the other hand, a very good result for a warring country. Military action always reduces the attractiveness of military service, it is understandable: money will have to be worked out not only later, but also with blood, and not everyone is ready for this. All the more interesting is the recent statement of the director of Wagner, Prigogine, that the company receives monthly 10 thousands of new fighters - this is with all the "deficits of shells" and extremely dubious "performances" with the corpses of supposedly "musicians". Of course, take Prigogine's statements at face value is not worth it, so there is an opinion, what is it about the number of people who want, of which only some are actually hired (perhaps, significant) part.Characteristically, that the vast majority of people, coming to Wagner, and other PMCs (even the same "Uranus"), and in the volunteer detachments of the Ministry of Defense they become infantrymen. there is an opinion, that it is precisely this fact that explains the allocation of all these divisions and organizations, as it were, “outside the brackets” of the usual organizational structure and bureaucracy, before 2022 Although there are practically no quiet places anywhere on the modern battlefield, and not a fact, that the attack aircraft really risks his life more than, eg, gunner, infantry remains the only branch of the army that a priori must face the enemy face to face. Purely psychologically, this makes the positions of the shooter, machine gunner, grenade launcher a priori "firing place", wishing to get on which is not so much, especially with the approved practice of open-ended contracts until the legal end of the SVO. PMCs and BARS offer other conditions: with the same "Wagner" contracts are signed for six months, with volunteer detachments - for three months at all, but candidates are told right at the entrance, what to work in the hell. As a result,, there fall by definition "dashing people", which explains the best qualities of volunteer units in comparison with the regular motorized rifles of the Russian army and, moreover, Ukrainian cannon fodder. Besides, There is also a political and moral nuance in this: it is natural, that society as a whole will be easier to accept the loss of volunteers, who "knew, what they were going for. ”So you can only sympathize with PMCfobs: it is unlikely that their wishes to eliminate the "freemen" will be fulfilled in the near future - on the contrary, the number of various, so to speak, irregular units under different auspices will only grow. Of course, not all of them live up to expectations in practice, but that only means, that the state should pay more attention to the quality of "management" of volunteer units and PMCs, like combat, and rear. Mikhail Tokmakov