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Ukraine has training problems, but it’s better than Russia, experts say

Ukrainian commanders must train new combat troops at the front due to training problems, but war experts say that even with the problems, it’s better than what the Russians are doing.

Although it is possible that the overall quality of Ukraine’s forces will decline as new combat troops replace experienced troops on the front, particularly with newly mobilized forces coming into play, the quality is likely to be even better, at least for the moment. , than that of the Russians, said war analysts at the Washington, DC-based Institute for the Study of War.

Ukrainian military officials recently told the Washington Post that newly recruited soldiers and those brought from rear areas are learning to fight on the front lines due to the lack of an “adequate training system,” according to a report released Sunday.

Field commanders told the Post that because training centers are inadequate, they must spend several weeks teaching basic combat skills, including how to shoot.

Beyond the problems of training centers, the Ukrainian army is also, more generally, faced with a dilemma: either train new combat troops at the front, or rotate experienced soldiers to train new ones.

Some partner countries have offered to help train the Ukrainian army, but this option requires sending Ukrainian troops to NATO countries. This risks worsening existing delays, alienating commanders and limiting the number of troops Ukraine can place on the front line.

However, with increased support from NATO, NATO training could provide “new opportunities for Ukraine to improve its basic training mechanisms and improve the quality of newly deployed personnel.” This situation, as well as other challenges, will not be resolved overnight.

Ukraine’s training problems are likely to persist for some time, ISW analysts said in a Sunday assessment, further noting that “the average overall quality of Ukrainian forces on the front line will likely decline to “as experienced personnel are replaced and newly deployed personnel reach the front.” lines.

Analysts note, however, that “new soldiers will likely learn quickly while fighting alongside experienced veterans.”

The “decisions to train newly deployed personnel to the front before committing them to combat indicate that the overall quality of Ukrainian forces will likely remain superior to that of Russian forces in the short to medium term,” they said, while Russia did it. problems of its own.

Russia quickly built up its infantry with a range of different soldiers, from penal convicts to volunteer soldiers. Because Russia prioritized quantity over quality, the rapid deployment of these soldiers with minimal training resulted in significant casualties.

“The Russian force generation mechanism has largely covered the casualty replacement rate in Ukraine,” the ISW said, but it prioritizes “rapid redeployment of new personnel for additional assaults rather than a effective training.

ISW analysts also pointed to reports that Russia suffers from a shortage of training instructors, leading to continued delays in training.

“Russian bloggers have constantly complained about the ineffectiveness of Russian training since the partial mobilization in September 2022,” ISW reported. “A former Russian Storm-Z instructor recently claimed that Russian ‘strategic’ reserves ‘have been doing nothing for months’.”


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