In the latest video taken by disgruntled conscripts, another group of masked Russian invaders direct their qualms toward Russian military leaders in Moscow.
In a rare display of defiance, punishable under Russia’s oppressive laws, the widely circulated clip shows the group complaining about being given poor quality equipment and receiving no pay – complaints echoed by other Russians recently conscripted to the front lines of Ukraine.
“They are not paying us our salaries as promised by the Ministry of Defense,” one of the Russians, identified by British newspaper The Daily Express as being the troop leader, says to camera. “This video is being shot on Oct. 21, and our salaries have yet to be deposited.”
“I also want to bring attention to the fact that soldiers don’t have their gear, vests, gloves, flak jackets, helmets and armor plates,” he adds. “The Turkish gear we have been given is of poor quality.”
The footage follows a clip released last week, showing a different group of Russian conscripts complaining that they had been “thrown out like dogs.”
The men claimed they had been essentially “abandoned in Ukrainian fields” and were forced to live in holes in the ground they had dug with their bare hands.
“For a month we were being prepared for something, although it’s not clear what for,” one conscript said in the video.
“We were transported back and forth and now it turns out we are somewhere in the fields of Ukraine. We were just thrown out like dogs here… We just live in the field.”
“There is no information and no command. No radios, no ammunition, no shit.”
Another conscript, giving only his first name, Vladimir, added: “I even had to paint my gun to cover the rust. It’s a nightmare. Soon they’ll make us buy our own grenades.”
Commenting on the videos being released on various social media platforms, Philips O’Brien, Professor of Strategic Studies at the University of St Andrews, told the Daily Express: “It’s clear this is something Russia was forced into. They weren’t able to stockpile equipment. It shows a lack of preparation.”
“These are videos that are widely seen in Russia, and Russian media has been quite sensitive to the criticism,” he added.
Meanwhile, on Oct. 23, Anastasia, a Russian teacher and wife of a conscript sent to Ukraine, posted her own complaint on social media platform VK.
“We had to spend our monthly salary on my husband’s gear so that he at least has a chance of coming back,” she said. “Frankly, it is completely embarrassing. It is a mess.”