Former Aidar leader warns Ukraine fighting troop shortages, mobilization not offsetting mounting casualties

Volunteers who want to join the 3rd separate airborne assault brigade of the Armed Forces undergo training in the Kyiv region, October 3
Volunteers who want to join the 3rd separate airborne assault brigade of the Armed Forces undergo training in the Kyiv region, October 3

Ukraine lacks troops at the front, and the current mobilization campaign is barely covering losses, former Aidar Battalion company commander Yevhen Dykyi told Radio NV on Nov. 3.

"When I talk, for example, with mortar operators, and the guys tell me: we have finally received as much ammunition as we have ever received in this war, and we are destroying an orcish (Russian) stronghold, but there is no one to go in because the infantry has run out," Dykyi said.

“And, unfortunately, I do hear similar things, to put it mildly; this is not just a one-off case that surprised me a lot.”

Read also: Three important messages from Zaluzhnyi in the article and interview in the Economist

The former company commander of the Aidar battalion also said that ongoing mobilization is underway in Ukraine, but it "barely covers our losses."

"We need a powerful wave of mobilization to create a numerical advantage over our enemies at least on this occasion, for the first time in the war," Dykyi added.

“We have never fought with an overwhelming number, we have always been fighting in the minority.”

Read also: Zelenskyy extends martial law, mobilization until November

Dykyi said that although about a million people have been mobilized in Ukraine — 800,000 in the Armed Forces and 200,000 in other armed groups — there are actually far fewer people on the frontline compared to the 400,000 troops that Russia has concentrated there.

"Four hundred thousand is the number of orcs (Russians) in the four occupied oblasts, and that's it," he said.

“This is a real army at the front and in its immediate rear, within tens of kilometers. Those 400,000 do not include all their logistics, all their headquarters, and all their rear support. By the way, none of their wounded are included, because they are immediately taken out and are not included in this figure, nor is their entire medical care. While we have one million — this includes the army at the front, the entire northern border, where we have to keep a lot of troops, and hundreds of thousands of wounded soldiers who are being treated but not taken off the hospitalization schedule because they have to return to their unit after treatment. All military infirmaries, rear logistics, all warehouses, and even military enlistment offices — this is our million. This is not the same as one million at the front.”

Ukraine has not disclosed the number of soldiers at the front, "but let's just say that it has never come close to the figure of 400,000," the former Aidar company commander said.

Read also: Ukraine’s mobilization has not ‘stalled’ — Danilov

Dykyi said that Ukraine's technological advantage in terms of its modern Western weapons systems is not so great that it alone can compensate for the difference in troop numbers.

Earlier, in an op-ed published by the UK weekly news magazine the Economist on Nov. 1, Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi said that Ukraine needs to expand the category of people who can be mobilized.

The top general called building up reserves one of his main priorities.

"Russia has failed to capitalize on its hefty manpower advantage because (Russian dictator) Vladimir Putin is worried that a general mobilization might spark a political crisis, and because Russia cannot train and equip enough people," he said.

“However, our capacity to train reserves on our own territory is also limited.”

On Oct. 30, Time magazine published an article about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the challenges Ukraine faces.

In the article, Time journalist Simon Shuster wrote that recruitment into the Ukrainian army virtually stopped after the head of state decided to dismiss regional military recruitment officers.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine