Russians conscripts from the recent mobilization are forced to buy their own military gear because the army does not supply them with the basics they will need at the front.

Since the start of Russia’s current mobilization, conscripts have shared numerous stories about having to buy their outdoor gear and essential medications. They also complained about their living conditions before being dispatched.

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a mobilization of troops in Russia on Sept. 21, much evidence has appeared about illegal conscription as well as poor material and technical support for the army.

In one video appearing on social media – purportedly shot in the first week of October from a train still in Russia, containing troops from the Taman Division – a soldier, coughing repeatedly, claims that there are more men sick with Covid-like symptoms than healthy men.

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“I would say absolutely everyone is sick. Personally I lost my taste and smell. The same symptoms can be detected in others, which allows us to assume a coronavirus infection,” Russian conscript said.

In another video, mobilized conscripts complain that they are forced to buy sleeping bags and medicines on their own. They lament that they don’t have beds in their barracks and people have to sleep on benches or the floor. In yet another, the soldiers say that they are given rusty weapons and are also sent to the front without any preparation.

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The Russian government website Obyasniayem (We explain), set up to answer questions about current laws and regulations, has posted an article that says conscripts should not expect reimbursement for their expenses.

The article was a reply to the question: “Will the conscripts’ expenses for buying their uniforms and medications be compensated?”

The response explained that those conscripted during the mobilization are given everything they need to perform their duties, including uniforms, gear, etc. For this reason, additional purchases of extra uniform elements, equipment, medications, etc., are the conscript’s initiative, and no compensation is planned for such expenses.

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