Russian soldiers are heard lamenting their awful living conditions in Ukraine in an early March video.
The video, filmed by a Russian soldier, was obtained by Ukraine’s UATV.
The narrator explains that a large group of Russian personnel standing in a barn-like structure have been stuck there for “three or four days.”
“We haven’t had a decent meal for three or four days,” explains a young, demoralized and tired soldier.
“This is how we slept… On the floor, without food or water.”
“This is how they work. This is the Russian army.”
The soldier repeatedly says that his commanders forced the men into Ukraine as “cannon fodder,” revealing that several of his comrades had been killed in military operations.
“These guys who were thrown in Ukraine as a cannon fodder – all of them, those who survived – we are all gathered here.”
Russia has a mandatory military draft for its male citizens, but its military distinguishes draftees from professional contract soldiers.
President Vladimir Putin had promised that conscripts wouldn’t be sent to the frontlines of his Ukraine invasion, but military officials since revealed that they had been deployed to the combat zone, according to Business Insider.
The Kremlin has since launched an investigation to punish military officials responsible for ordering conscripts into the war.
It’s not entirely clear if the soldiers in the video are conscripts, but the reference to military officials pressuring them to “sign some papers” indicates that it’s very likely.
The video’s narrator says that his commanders wanted to make it seem as if the soldiers had never even come to Ukraine, potentially ducking responsibility for deploying conscripts to combat.
Varying estimates calculate Russian casualties in the thousands, with Ukraine’s military claiming that 13,500 Russian troops had been killed in action since the start of the conflict as of Tuesday.
Russia continue to take heavy casualties in Ukraine. https://t.co/hjLNEWXCpz
— Anders Östlund (@andersostlund) March 15, 2022
Some have suggested that Putin expected his invasion of Ukraine to be a cakewalk, with Ukrainian servicemen laying down their weapons and accepting Russian domination of their country.
Instead, Russia has inserted itself into a quagmire and is facing global isolation and scorn for the war of aggression on top of significant casualties and fierce resistance.