On Wednesday, Russia’s Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, announced that they will bring 300,000 soldiers into the war.
Palle Ydstebø is head teacher at Krigsskolen. The new soldiers will not change the war at first, believes the head teacher.
Preparing so many people for war will take time, and it may take a long time.
– How long Russia will spend is decisive. They can send in forces in perhaps a few weeks, who can act as soldiers in a trench, but not much more, explains Ydstebø.
New soldiers who can carry out offensive operations will take even longer.
– Training and educating soldiers to carry out offensive operations will take months and perhaps years. There is a difference between conducting offensive attacks and defending a trench, he says further.
According to the head teacher, the new soldiers are former conscripts.
– But we don’t know how good, willing and motivated they are. We also don’t know how good a system they have to bring in all these people, explains Ydstebø.
– Then there will be big losses
Tom Røseth is head teacher in intelligence at the Norwegian Defense Academy. He believes that some of the former conscripts will be sent straight into the war.
– I assume that someone will be sent directly to the front, because the manpower shortage is so great, he explains.
Røseth also doubts that the course of the war will be changed anytime soon.
– I don’t think it will change the course of the war very quickly. It takes time to phase the soldiers in. If they plow straight to the front, there will be heavy losses on the Russian side without aim and meaning.
– It will have an effect over the New Year, which may help. Until then, it is the Ukrainians who have the initiative in the front line.
Must be educated
The soldiers who are brought in should preferably be trained to be ready for war. It could present problems for Russia, according to Ydstebø.
– They have almost emptied all the officers and commanders from education departments to replace the losses in Ukraine. That makes it even more difficult to train new soldiers, says Ydstebø.
According to Røseth, Russia has challenges with training.
– The reservist system in Russia has not been known for training its soldiers well. There is limited striking power from these soldiers.