More than 100 Russian draftees took part in a protest on Wednesday, Nov. 2, to draw attention to the government’s alleged failure to honour promises made to them about pay. The protest took place in a training center in Ulyanovsk in Russia’s Chuvash Republic.  

The protesters’ message was disseminated by the prisoner’s rights group Gulagu.net (No to the Gulag) and the Telegram user Angry Chuvashia.

The mobilised Russians are, in accordance with their statement, refusing to go to war in Ukraine and “will seek justice” until they have received the money they are owed. The new recruits are also attempting to find their commanding officer.

The draftees claim in the accompanying video that they haven’t received the equivalent of $4,864 that their military commissariats promised.

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“Risking our own lives, we’re going to  certain death for the sake of your security and peace. Our government is refusing to pay us the 195,000 rubles ($3,160) that President Vladimir Putin promised us! Why, then, should we go to war for this state, leaving our families without support?! We refuse to take part in the ‘special military operation’ and will seek justice until we’re paid the money that was promised to us by the government led by the President of the Russian Federation,” the soldiers shouted.

One mobilized soldier claims in one of the videos that the military commissar informed him when he was enlisted that he was entitled to a lump-sum payment of $4,800.

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“Aye, aye! Exactly what they told us!” his peers yell. They are then informed that a draft bill on that topic was once considered but abandoned after just one hearing.

The mobilized demand that these local deputies “give up their f*cking party cards” and go to war in Ukraine themselves.

The men accuse the authorities of “f*cking them over.”

Some newly-mobilised men in Russia have recently begun criticising their commanders over the lack of supplies, and equipment. Numerous videos to that effect have appeared online in the past month alone.

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A video statement criticising their commanders and the governor was released in October by mobilised soldiers in Penza Region. In addition to making a video appeal to the authorities, the Bashkortostani troops that had been mobilised lamented the “very poor” living conditions that their commanders were forcing them to endure.

They claimed to be without food or water, and after the video was made public, they were sent to the front without any training.

A video of irate mobilised soldiers in Belgorod Region appeared on Russian social media outlets on Oct. 5. The men in the footage asserted that they were issued ammunition and firearms from the 1970s that had already been written off, had not been assigned to any military unit, and that they had been without supplies for a week.

Russian officials have denied reports of equipment shortages ever since Putin announced his “partial” mobilisation in September. Although specific military units advise purchasing armoured vests and wound-dressing supplies in advance, even official public resources advise recruits to bring their own quadcopters and night vision goggles. The online magazine The Insider also discovered that equipping a man for war costs around $2,500, as the wives of Russians who have been mobilised argue about this in Telegram chats. Having to use family funds for this has outraged the women.

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