Russian soldiers complain about living in ‘s***holes’ during winter

Russian regiment appeals for equipment in cold Ukrainian conditions

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Russian soldiers have complained about living in poor accommodation with “no doors and no roof” in the middle of winter as discontent within Putin’s ranks continues to swell. In footage released online, Russian soldiers sleeping in flimsy tents can be seen accusing their commanders of “not teaching us anything” and forcing them to live in freezing conditions without adequate protection. The cameraman shows two tents side-by-side in a structure that appears to be made of logs, with gaps visible in the structure’s roof and walls. 

In the footage, the first soldier, who is behind the camera, said: “This is how we live, in f***ing dugouts. F***ing army.” 

Calling out to his comrade, he added: “Sasha, show me your nose.” The other soldier then said: “What the f***, leave me alone. I came to the war myself.” 

After the cameraman suggested Sasha had come as a “volunteer”, the soldier said: “And I got a report written on me about my drinking. So they don’t teach [us] anything, I’ve only shot twice.”

As the first soldier proceeded to show the rest of the flimsy, wholly structure, he added: “Or living in this s***hole, with no doors, no roof. It’s snowing, ‘just fine’.” 

Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s foreign ministry, shared the footage on his Twitter account on Thursday. 

He captioned the video with a quote from one of the soldiers, before writing that the situation facing the poorly-equipped Russian soldiers “does not really change”. 

He wrote: “‘I went to war by myself, they don’t teach me anything and then complain that I drink’. The situation with mobilised Russians and the conditions they are in doesn’t really change.” 

The winter months will be brutal for many soldiers, particularly those poorly-equipped, and though increased fighting is expected as both sides make use of the hard, frozen ground, wounded troops will become twice as vulnerable to dying from their injuries as a result of the harsh conditions. 

While the autumn season between September and November made mechanised warfare difficult due to the wet and boggy ground, the average high temperature was around 13 degrees Celsius. 

From December through to February, as winter sets in, that average high drops to zero. 

At the onset of winter towards the end of last month, the British Ministry of Defence warned that while both Ukrainian and Russian soldiers will be adversely affected by the cold season, a prevailing low-morale among Putin’s men could prove devastating. 

They said: “Forces lacking in winter weather clothing and accommodation are highly likely to suffer from non-freezing cold injuries.

“The weather itself is likely to see an increase in rainfall, wind speed and snowfall. Each of these will provide additional challenges to the already low morale of Russian forces, but also present problems for kit maintenance.”

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Reports of Russian soldiers complaining about the conditions have become increasingly common after months of sweeping Ukrainian counter-offensives forced them to retreat and cut off several of their supply lines. The situation is made worse by the lack of training reportedly being offered to Russians, who were previously civilians, before heading into war. 

Julia Davis, the creator of the media watchdog group Russian Media Monitor, posted a video on Twitter on October 16 in which an unknown man recently drafted into the Russian military claimed to face extremely poor conditions at a camp, with theft and sickness rampant.

She captioned the video: “Meanwhile in Russia: take a look at the way the newly-mobilised recruits are being treated. 

“An unnamed man complains that his shoes, his money, and his mattress got stolen. He says, that’s just the way it is. Everyone got sick, because they are barely heating the tents. Grim.”

The footage showed a Russian soldier complaining about a lack of appropriate footwear for the conditions before entering a tent that, despite housing several men, had only one stove to provide warmth. 

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