UK Ministry of Defense: Russia is running out of soldiers

Every day since the beginning of the escalation of the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine, the UK Ministry of Defense publishes its assessment of the situation in the conflict. On August 28, 2023, it is about the military maneuver Zapad 23.

Via the Network X writes the UK Ministry of Defense, “Russia has most likely canceled Exercise ZAPAD (“West”) 23, its planned “joint strategic exercise” (JSE) and major annual event that was supposed to be the culmination of the military training year. The exercise was to have taken place in September 2023. Since 2010, Russia has deployed the JSE on a four-year cycle throughout the country. However, since 2021, Russia has stationed the JSE in western Russia at least every other year as it prioritizes the threat posed by NATO. This follows ZAPAD 21, the largest Russian exercise since Soviet times.”

The UK Ministry of Defense elaborates on the possible reasons: “The Russian military’s underperformance in Ukraine has highlighted that the JSEs had limited training value and were largely for show. Russia likely canceled ZAPAD 23 because of insufficient troops and equipment. There is a realistic possibility that Russian leaders will also be sensitive to domestic criticism if they operate another cleverly presented JSE in wartime.”

Image:, Vladimir Putin meeting with government ministers (2022-07-08) 02, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons (image size modified)

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