Sunday, 04 Dec 2022

The army has nothing: new Russian conscripts bemoan lack of supplies

The army has nothing: new Russian conscripts bemoan lack of supplies


The army has nothing: new Russian conscripts bemoan lack of supplies

When her recently mobilised brother Vladimir rang from the frontline last week, Olesya Shishkanova recorded the phone call - and with it, a litany of complaints.

"They gave us absolutely no equipment. The army has nothing, we had to buy all our gear ourselves," complained Vladimir, 23, who was conscripted as part of Vladimir Putin's mobilisation earlier this month.

"I even had to paint my gun to cover the rust. It is a nightmare ... Soon they'll make us buy our own grenades," he added in the call that Shishkanova recorded and uploaded on her page on the Russian social media site VK.

Vladimir's story is far from unique. Across the country, newly mobilised men are buying up everything from thermal underwear to body armour as more evidence emerges that Russia's undersupplied army has not been able to provide them with even the basics when they arrive at the front.

On Telegram, dozens of discussion channels have sprung up in which the wives and sisters of mobilised men share advice on where to best buy body armour and clothing for their relatives before they depart to fight in Putin's war in Ukraine.

"From morning to evening, I scan the internet to find good deals for our boys," said Anastasia, a member of the Help for Soldiers group, which is based in Russia's Sverdlovsk region near the Ural mountains.

Anastasia said that the local recruitment office in Sverdlovsk "strongly advised" the newly mobilised soldiers to bring their own gear, despite statements from the defence ministry that all mobilised soldiers will be dressed and equipped.

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