"Actually, it was already clear after the first days of this war that the Russians had a massive infantry personnel problem on the ground," says Gernot Kramper. "But Putin is lagging behind events with his decisions." Vladimir Putin put off the drafting of 300,000 men for the war in Ukraine for far too long - out of "domestic political fear," says the armaments expert.
Those who hide or flee show that this fear is justified. But that's also the case on the other side, says Gernot Kramper: "Of course there are also a lot of Ukrainians who would rather stay in the EU than go home to the front." In contrast to Ukraine, however, this is the first wave of mobilization and not the seventh or eighth. "That means at some point you just have to take what's there and those who can still walk." In Russia there is a theoretical potential of 30 million people who are capable of war. "The 300,000 are only the first move," says Gernot Kramper. From the armaments expert's point of view, the momentum that Ukraine has overtaken Russia in terms of manpower will no longer hold up. "Stalin has this sentence that quantity creates its own quality - a very profound sentence, but it is also correct on a simple level."
And if you assume that the Russians have assumed that they can win this war in a few days and with a mass surrender by Ukraine, it's all a huge catastrophe, says Gernot Kramper. Based on these original ideas, "everything is a weakness of Putin". Essentially, however, what matters now is the mood of the population, believes Gernot Kramper, and whether Putin can sell the upheaval of the war: "The big question is whether it will be possible to turn the narrative of the war - of a kind Police action on the Great Patriotic War 2.0.”
It's difficult to say from the outside whether people believe that. And if Ukraine continues these offensives in weakly defended areas of the Russians, the whole thing threatens to collapse. "That's also a possibility," says Gernot Kramper. And finally, above all, there always corresponds the fear of nuclear use. "It's ultimately a matter of faith."
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