Ukraine

Russia swapping new conscripts with experienced troops on the Kherson frontline

Russia is swapping new conscripts for more experienced troops at the frontline in Kherson, Forces News has been told.

The intention is reportedly to spare the experienced personnel as Ukraine continues to threaten to retake the Kherson Oblast. 

Russian troops continue to fight, but they are being gradually squeezed by the Ukrainian troops and geography.

"The Russians continue to hold ground when it doesn't make any sense for them too", said John Spencer, the chair of Urban Warfare Studies, Madison Policy Forum. 

"We believe that's because they've asked the higher command in Putin to withdraw and he's refused," the expert added.

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MOD) recently released images showing new recruits getting their kit. 

They call them 'mobilised Russian forces' – much of the world, however, views them as conscripts, called up to fight whether they want to or not. 

The pictures show them undergoing training with good kit and equipment, but reports filtering from Russia claim some conscripts are having to buy some of their own equipment and training is minimal. 

A clip that was circling on the internet recently appeared to show Russian recruits being told to get sanitary products to deal with bullet wounds.

Watch: A clip from September appears to show the Russian army desperately short of the basics.

In the clip, they were being told to buy most of their own kit, with the trainer telling them that the uniform is all that is provided by the military. 

Reportedly some of these conscripted troops could be heading to Kherson – to replace the experienced soldiers.

Mr Spencer said: "Sometimes we quip that they were cannon fodder, but it seems to be that was the plan with many of the recently mobilised, was to rush them forward, maybe into an infantry role, but really giving them no training.

"Rushing them forward in hopes of either holding a position so it won't collapse or switching out a more trained unit and just leaving these leave-behind units to either die or hold something for a little longer.

The urban war expert added: "It's a sign of desperation for sure."