Putin may announce second mobilisation wave in coming days ISW

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin may announce a second wave of mobilisation to expand his army in the coming days, possibly as early as 18 January.

Source: ISW report from 17 January 2023

Details: The ISW recalled that Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov announced on 17 January that Putin will deliver a speech in St Petersburg on 18 January in commemoration of the 80th anniversary of Soviet forces breaking the Nazi siege of Leningrad, Putin’s hometown.

"Putin is fond of using symbolic dates to address the Russian people, and some Russian pro-war milbloggers noted that he will seize this opportunity to either declare mobilization or war with Ukraine. Ukrainian and Western intelligence also repeatedly warned of Putin’s mobilization preparations scheduled for mid-January," the ISW said.

Key Takeaways from the ISW report:

  • Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu announced on 17 January that he will implement Russian President Vladimir Putin's directive to conduct large-scale military reforms between 2023-2026 to expand Russia's conventional armed forces, likely in preparation for a protracted war in Ukraine and also to set conditions to build a significantly stronger Russian military quickly.

  • Putin may announce a second wave of mobilisation in the coming days, possibly as soon as 18 January.

  • The Russian Ministry of Defence is trying to improve professionalism within the Russian armed forces and likely test and improve the effectiveness of its chains of command down to small unit level.

  • Serbian President Alexander Vucic has called on the Wagner Group to cease recruitment in Serbia.

  • Russian forces continued to conduct limited counterattacks near Kreminna as Ukrainian officials continued to suggest that Russian forces may be preparing for a decisive effort in Luhansk Oblast.

  • Russian forces continued offensive actions across the Donetsk Oblast front line.

  • The Russian information space is struggling to portray tactical Russian gains around Soledar as operationally significant.

  • Russian forces in Kherson Oblast continue to struggle to maintain their logistics efforts in east (left) bank Kherson Oblast due to Ukrainian strikes.

  • A Russian occupation official claimed that Putin will make an "important statement" pertaining to the war in Ukraine on 18 January.

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