A captured Russian soldier has described how he was sent to the front after training which consisted of firing a rifle “two or three times.”
In a video posted on social media by Anton Gerashchenko, advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, the man says: “They gave us some automatic rifles and drove us to the firing range.
“There I fired two or three times and after four days we were sent to slaughter, to war.”
The soldier claims his commanders lied to them about what they would be doing on the front lines and gave no indication that they’d be required to assault Ukrainian positions.
He said: “We were told: ‘Now you’ll just sit in defense, stay a little bit and strengthen the positions and then you’ll immediately retreat.’
“As it turns out, we came, sat in defense for a day or two and that was it, then we were sent directly to the front line.”
He then says he was wounded and taken to a hospital where they “bandaged me up” before sending him back to the front.
“I was there for five or six days. And that was it, I was discharged immediately,” he says.
Russian soldiers tell about "meat assaults".— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) January 5, 2024
But it seems that in Russia it does not bother much not only the authorities, but also the military themselves.
In Russian culture, human life is of no value, death is heroized. Though it was always this way.
Imagine millions of… pic.twitter.com/sWgaDVH81V
It’s far from the first time Russian soldiers have made such claims – last month a video emerged of a group of Russian soldiers in an expletive-laden video expressing their outrage at learning they will not be territorial defense soldiers as they thought, but would be assault troops sent to the front with no training.
Recorded at an unknown location, a group of men can be seen chanting “f**king commanders.”
The camera then pans to one soldier who launches into a furious tirade.
“Check this out,” he says. “We’ve been here since the 26th, f**king officers have been f**king lying to our faces that we are territorial defense.
“And now the lieutenant colonel came out and said it’s the first time he’s heard that, and it turns out we are a rifle unit.
“We are f**king assault troops, we are not territorial defense and they just tell us now!”
Back in Russia, discontent over the treatment of soldiers is growing – wives of Russians mobilised to fight in Ukraine symbolically laid flowers Saturday at the flame of the unknown soldier right beneath the walls of the Kremlin and demanded the return of their husbands from the front.
Anger has been growing for months among relatives of reservists who President Vladimir Putin mobilised in September 2022, seven months after the initial invasion of Ukraine.
The mobilisation is a sensitive subject for authorities, who have so far refrained from repressing what has become a nascent movement of revolt.
Saturday saw some 15 women brave the winter cold to place red flowers at the site in the heart of the capital.
“We want to draw the authorities’ attention and that of the public to our appeal. We have tried several means. We made a written appeal to lawmakers, officials, administrations – but we were not heard,” Maria, a 47-year-old sales manager, whose husband was mobilised in November 2022, told AFP.
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