Putin will not succeed in putting economy on war footing, UK defence secretary says

Monday, 20 May 2024 —

UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps has commented on Russia's problems with labour shortages caused, in particular, by mobilisation for the war of aggression against Ukraine.

Commenting on the latest review by UK Defence Intelligence, Shapps stated that Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin's all-out mobilisation of his economy is not sustainable.

"And he knows it," Shapps added on Twitter.

The UK defence secretary further urged allies to continue providing military assistance to Ukraine.


"If all allies match the UK’s pledge to maintain support to Ukraine for the next 6 years we can exploit this weakness & make it impossible for the Russian economy to maintain its war effort," he said.

Earlier, UK Defence Intelligence reported that Russia is experiencing a labour shortage, which is becoming a significant problem in some sectors.

UK intelligence cites an estimate by the Russian newspaper Izvestia, indicating that Russia lacked 4.8 million workers in 2023. In particular, the Russian transport and logistics industry could not fill 25% of lorry driver vacancies last year.

The labour shortage is at least partially caused by Russia's war against Ukraine, which has led to the mobilisation of some of the working population into Russia’s Armed Forces and the emigration of some skilled professionals.

Earlier, UK intelligence reported that due to mobilisation and conscription, Russia's non-defence industries have experienced a shortage of workers, especially in the IT sector.

Last September, on the anniversary of Russian ruler Vladimir Putin's signing of a decree on partial mobilisation, UK Defence Intelligence identified the challenges faced by Russia's Armed Forces.

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