Russia is at risk of running out of troops as the Ukraine war wages on.

A former commander described his country as being in a terrible way”.

Igor Girkin, writing from his prison cell, suggested that Russia’s forces are light on numbers and a “broad offensive” is no longer planned for 2024.

Girkin, who played a crucial role in the annexation of Crimea in 2014, argued that Putin would need to mobilize civilians to bulk up the army.

“There will be no mobilization yet—until the ‘elections’ for sure,” he wrote in Russian on his Telegram account.

“They will try to patch up ‘holes in the ranks’ and new units at the expense of prisoners and contract soldiers.”

He added: “In turn, means that in the spring, we will have no one and nothing with which to attack (and if mobilization is not carried out in the spring, then there will be no one in the summer).

“A broad offensive (judging by the rhetoric) is no longer planned—everything is focused on ‘waiting’ on the defensive until Ukraine falls apart on its own or goes to negotiations,” Girkin speculated.

Girkin, who also goes by the alias Igor Ivanovich Strelkov, is currently under arrest on charges of extremism.

He was previously dismissed from the Russian Army after being found guilty of shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

In September 2022, the Russian President declared a partial mobilization of reservists to help fight in Ukraine.

He also unveiled plans in July 2023 to raise the maximum mobilization age to 70.

The Russian President, who is 71, will even accept soldiers who have already been discharged.

It will ensure retired reservists can serve until they are 60, and junior officials can also be recalled until they turn 55.

US intelligence said last month that Russia’s heavy losses in the war have resulted in the relaxing of recruitment standards.