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More Russian Soldiers Refusing To Fight in Ukraine and Ukraine Began Counteroffensive Operations

May 12-18, 2022 | Issue 8 - EUCOM

Benjamin Brooks, Martyna Dobrowolska, Pètra van de Gevel, EUCOM Team

Léopold Maisonny, Editor; Jennifer Loy, Chief of Staff

Russian tank in Ukraine[1]

Date: May 12, 2022

Location: Russia

Parties involved: Russian government; Russian soldiers; Russian lawyers; Russian population; Russian military; Ukraine

The event: Russian soldiers are increasingly refusing to fight in Ukraine. Russian lawyers claim that those refusing to fight in Ukraine can face dismissal from the military service but cannot be prosecuted as Russia did not formally declare a full-scale war on Ukraine.[2]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The number of Russian soldiers fighting in the conflict will likely decrease when they realize that the Russian government cannot persecute them. Russia will very likely lack trained military personnel in Ukraine, very likely complicating Russia’s ability to gain control of Ukraine. The Russian government will likely consider officially declaring war in Ukraine to force Russian men to join the conflict.

  • Russia will very likely try to attract more people to join the conflict by offering economic compensation, likely resulting in those without combat experience enrolling in the military. The presence of untrained soldiers in the conflict zone will likely increase, very likely resulting in a diminishing military performance from Russia. Russia will unlikely gain a military advantage in the conflict as a result, likely increasing Russian casualties in Ukraine.

Date: May 15, 2022

Location: Ukraine

Parties involved: Britain; British military intelligence; Russia; Russian forces; Ukraine; Ukrainian population; Ukrainian forces

The event: Ukraine has begun counteroffensive operations against Russia in the east of Ukraine. This move comes after Ukrainian forces have managed to regain territory in the north and north-eastern areas of Ukraine.[3] British military intelligence has released a statement suggesting that Russia has lost an estimated third of its total ground forces in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which helps to explain Ukraine’s recent success.[4]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Ukraine will very likely increase counteroffensive operations if Russia is unlikely to make significant advancements in Ukraine. Ukrainian forces will almost certainly have an increased morale boost with the depletion of Russian ground forces. An increased morale boost will likely lead to a greater Ukrainian military performance and the Ukrainian forces will likely increasingly believe that they can force Russia to retreat.

  • As Russian ground forces will very likely continue to deplete, they will likely struggle to maintain control over currently occupied territory, such as Luhansk. Russia will very likely have to redeploy its ground forces that are currently occupying Ukrainian territories to face Ukrainian counter offensives. Ukraine will likely launch its counter offensives on the edge of the Donbas region, likely attempting to liberate cities, such as Donetsk. With fewer Russian forces present, local resistance from the population in Russian-controlled Ukrainian territories will likely increase, likely allowing Ukraine to regain control over these cities.

________________________________________________________________________ The Counterterrorism Group (CTG)

[2] ‘They were furious’: the Russian soldiers refusing to fight in Ukraine, The Guardian, May 2022,

[3] Ukraine wages counteroffensive against Russian forces in east, Reuters, May 2022,

[4] Britain says Russia has lost a third of its forces in Ukraine, Reuters, May 2022,



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