Ukraine Is Exacerbating Russia’s Demographic Crisis: a Digest of Russian Propaganda for May 30

Russia is at war with Ukraine in the Second World War and is “improving” its population quantity. The Centre for Strategic Communication and Information Security has collected the main fakes and narratives of the Russian propaganda of May 30.

  1. War using Soviet textbooks
  2. Putin has no one to lose in Ukraine
  3. Kidnapping for “humanitarian reasons”
  4. Save “Private Ryan”

War using Soviet textbooks

“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” This is how Sun Tzu, author of The Art of War, would describe what is happening to the Russian army in Ukraine. Indeed, there is a lot of propaganda noise around the alleged “advancement of Allied troops.” For example, like this:

IN REALITY, Russia continues fighting in Ukraine using World War II templates. Phillips O’Brien, a professor of strategic research at the University of St. Andrews (Scotland), explains it as follows.

– The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, strictly adhering to the Soviet war methods, hoped to find weak spots in the Ukrainian defence, suppressing the Armed Forces with a mass of people and equipment. Many successful landings of assault force from the sea were also expected.

– Initially, the Russians surpassed the Ukrainians in the number of tanks. But everything went wrong pretty much immediately: out of 1,500 tanks concentrated on the border with Ukraine, between 700 and 1,200 were destroyed in the first three months of the war (according to various estimates).  The fact is that since World War II, defensive equipment has changed, including anti-tank defences. Ukrainians have new generation weapons, which are easy to use and safe for the soldiers.

– In addition, there are drones – a modern invention adapted to military purposes, much cheaper than specialized military equipment, fairly easy to use and to make up for losses. This gave Ukrainians mobility and the ability to resist Russia’s strength in the numbers.

– New methods of combat operations have shown effectiveness at sea: while the defence systems of the Moskva flagship of the Black Sea Fleet were distracted by a drone, cruise missiles of the new generation hit it.

Thus, O’Brien concludes, “technology is evolving, and the Russian army has failed to adapt to it and is already hopelessly behind. All this was shown by the war in Ukraine. “

That is why there is now a frantic transfer of various “armoured junk from Russian warehouses to Ukraine. As of May 30, according to the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, about 1,350 Russian tanks have been destroyed, as well as about 3300 armoured cars. That is, in total for three months and one week of war Ukrainians have already neutralized 4650 units of the Russian armoured vehicles.

For any army, it would be a horrible loss. But not for the Soviet-Russian one. It has been proven by World War II, the Afghan and Chechen wars. And Russia has apparently abandoned the principle “save equipment not people” in Ukraine. It is not saving either. 

Putin has no one to lose in Ukraine

Russian propaganda, though, will never admit what the successes cost it. Russia’s MoD neither recognizes nor denies its losses. Therefore, the global community has to use data from Western intelligence, the media and the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. There is no other information.

On May 30, the UK Defence Ministry reported that Russians suffered great losses among middle and junior officers. This could exacerbate the Russian military’s existing problems with modernizing its approach to command. We can thus expect the graduates of Russian military universities to be sent to Ukraine immediately. And accelerated graduation may soon follow.  

Most likely, if we find out about the real losses of the Russian army in Ukraine, it will not happen soon. This is not World War II, where military servants just disappeared into the total number of 27 million dead alongside civilians. 

No one is killing Russian civilians now. In addition, this is not a war officially, this is a “special military operation,” though Skabeyeva officially ended it on May 30, starting “World War III.” So, there’s definitely something to hide. However, it is not that big of a challenge to calculate the occupiers’ total losses in Ukraine.

IN REALITY, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, over 30,000 occupiers have already been eliminated. The classic Soviet manual of warfare says that during offensive action, there are 3-4 injured soldiers per 1 KIA. This means that if 30,000 have been killed, there are about 120,000 additional losses (wounded, traumatized, mentally unstable, etc.). Thus, the total loss of manpower of the occupiers at the end of May in Ukraine is about 150 thousand people.

According to those same manuals, about half of the additional losses are supposed to recover and go back to the frontline. But considering the rapid “hybrid mobilization” in Russia, lifting age restrictions for first contract in the army, activation of mobile conscription offices and numerous ads by private military companies, the situation with mobilization resources in Russia is quite miserable.

In addition, the aforementioned losses of the Russian army in Ukraine will soon be accompanied by those servicemen whose contract has expired. It was signed for three months (March to May, since that was when Russia was estimating its victory in Ukraine).

Given the conscripts who fought in Ukraine and who were deceived about payments, and Krasnodar Russian Guard servicemen, who refused to go back to Ukraine after not getting their money, soon, there will be no one for Putin to lose in Ukraine. 

Kidnapping for “humanitarian reasons”

On May 30, Putin signed a decree on simplified provision of Russian citizenship to orphans from the so-called “LPR”/”DPR” and, for some reason, all of Ukraine. A guardian with Russian, “LPR,” “DPR” or Ukrainian passport can ask for accelerated citizenship procedure for the child. This can also be done by organizations that work with orphans. That is, the mechanism has already been worked out. 

IN REALITY, as of the beginning of May, 181,000 Ukrainian children have been forcibly relocated to Russia and so-called “LPR”/”DPR.” We have already written a publication about where Russia is taking Ukrainian children. But why?

Of course, not because of Putin’s love for children or for “denazified” adult Ukrainians. 

Largely, this is done due to catastrophic demographic problems in Russia. After the start of the war, excessive mortality in Russia has risen sharply. This has been reported by Opendatabot.

According to statistics, over the past 5 years, the total number of deaths in Russia in March was 160 thousand. However, this year, the March figure reached 201 thousand. If we add to this the calculation for April-May (again, according to the classic Soviet military manual), we can also imagine the amount of Russian losses in Ukraine.

In November last year, Putin called Russia’s demographic crisis the main problem, which “has become systemic. For humanitarian reasons and in terms of strengthening our statehood, solving the demographic problem is one of Russia’s main tasks,” he said.

To understand the depth of this crisis in Russia: in 24 of its regions, in June last year, those who died were double the number of newborns. In 46 regions, there is a decline in the number of population. In 2020, Russia’s population shrunk by a record 700,000 people. By 2024, according to the government forecast, the number of Russians will decrease by 1.7 million.

As of May 21, the occupiers deported about 1.38 million Ukrainian citizens to their territory, including 232,480 children. Putin is using forced deportation and accelerated citizenship procedures to make up for the future loss of 1.7 million people, thus resolving Russia’s demographic crisis.

Save “Private Ryan”

“Russia has had two demographic declines — during World War II and immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union,” Putin said. Judging by the fact that his army is still fighting in Ukraine by the same methods, he will “fight for demographic figures” for a long time, and ultimately to no avail. No matter how much Russian propaganda pretends otherwise. They are even recovering the title of “Mother Heroine.” 

IN REALITY, the lack of strategy in terms of further activities in Ukraine or effective administration on its temporarily occupied territories are thus far covered up by Putin with cannon fodder, Soviet style. That is the noise before the defeat. But he will soon run out of cannon fodder, and Ukraine will get the necessary weapons and ammunition.

In addition, importantly, the Ukrainian army, unlike the Russian one, fights using NATO standards, not Soviet standards. The main principle is fairly easy: cause maximum losses to the enemy with minimal own losses. So, it is not about saving private Ryan, it is about keeping him out of harm’s way. We can recover the territories, but not the fighters. Russian leaders have always had a different idea about this. That is why the territory of Russia is constantly in a demographic pit. Ukraine will certainly help to grow that pit substantially.

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