A month after President Vladimir Putin announced the partial mobilisation of troops to join the Ukraine war ill-equipped conscripts have been exposing horrors from the frontline. One mobilised soldier in Stavropol shared a video of his plastic war equipment which included a paintball mask, bucket hat and gloves for children. In the video, he said: “Dear Stavropol administration, thank you for these warm gifts for the mobilised fighters.
“This item is called a paintball mask, made of plastic.
“They think we will be walking around like Star Wars in this s*** which has no sense or goal.
“Thank you for the underwear, for the raincoat, for this fashionable bucket hat, at least something useful.
“Here’s the warm winter uniform though somehow it turned out that all mobilised did their own shopping.
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“A 1L thermos, a handy item that will really help us.
“But the top thing that we have are the children’s tactical gloves, they won’t fit my hand at all and they didn’t fit a single fighter.
“And the most top thing we have are the boots, boots made of natural rubber!
“Don’t know what they were purchased for, they sincerely prepared us for the winter, gave us this rubber from the bottom of their heart.
The visit came a day after Putin raised Russia’s war footing and declared martial law in four occupied regions of Ukraine that he moved to annex last month in a step condemned as illegal by Ukraine, its allies and the United Nations General Assembly.
Faced with a series of defeats in the war, Putin last month declared a “partial mobilisation” to call up hundreds of thousands of extra troops.
It has proceeded chaotically, with frequent cases of call-up papers going out to the wrong men, and even Putin has been forced to acknowledge mistakes. Hundreds of thousands of Russians have fled abroad to escape being drafted.
Putin said last Friday the mobilisation would be over within two weeks. On Thursday he ordered all of Russia’s regions to do more to support army needs and stressed that all mobilised men needed to be sent to the front with proper equipment.