With US Aid Coming, Ukraine Has One More Major Problem to Fix: Observers

Days after US lawmakers approved needed military aid for Ukraine, defense analysts claimed that Kyiv has one more major problem that could be difficult to fix.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the Ukrainian military has been heavily outnumbered, as Moscow had a pre-invasion ground force strength of 360,000 troops.

Although 87 percent of this force is said to have been neutralized, Russia President Vladimir Putin was able to mobilize thousands of reservists.

According to Konrad Muzyka, the head of Polish military consultancy firm Rochan, Ukraine still needs many more troops to match Russia’s invasion force despite having billions of dollars in weapons and equipment coming.

“The most important source of Ukrainian weakness is the lack of manpower,” he told Reuters in light of Kyiv’s plans to carry out another major offensive this summer.

He further stated that Russia may be battling a weakened enemy over the next three months if Ukraine cannot mobilize more troops and US aid is delayed.

“Then, the situation should improve from autumn onwards,” Muzyka said.

Situation on the Ground

Earlier this month, PBS journalist Amna Nawaz reported on the manpower gap between Russian and Ukrainian forces.

Though a shortage of munitions can be remedied through foreign aid, filling the frontline appears to be a much more difficult problem.

A battalion commander in a mechanized brigade admitted to The Washington Post that his unit has fewer than 40 troops, far below the needed 200 to hold off Russian assaults.

Even former Ukrainian military chief Valery Zaluzhny said the country needs nearly 500,000 new troops to win the war.

To address the current shortage in manpower, President Volodymyr Zelensky has lowered the draft age from 27 to 25 to allow more young men to be put on the frontline.

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