Six Donbas-region conscripts, their partners or friends have told of conditions
They have painted a picture of a Russian army in Ukraine that is stretched thin
One student spoke of how he was forced to drink water from a fetid pond
He said his unit was told to repel Ukraine forces – having never been trained to fire an automatic weapon. Some draftees have been given a Mosin – a WW2 rifle
The wives of conscripts said their partners had no combat experience
All accounts spoke of how the conscripts had a severe lack of supplies
Russian conscripts are being given 19th century rifles, made to drink from ponds filled with dead frogs and ordered to draw enemy fire, they have revealed. Soldiers in the Russian-backed Donbas region have spoken of how they have been sent to fight Ukraine’s forces with no training, a lack of food and water, and inadequate equipment – as Moscow’s armies continue to suffer heavy losses. The new accounts of untrained and ill-equipped conscripts being deployed to Ukraine are a fresh indication of how stretched the military resources at the Kremlin’s disposal are, over a month into a war that has seen Vladimir Putin’s forces hobbled by logistical problems and held up by a fierce resistance. One of the soldiers, a student conscripted in late February, said a fellow fighter told him to prepare to repel a close-quarter attack by Ukrainian forces in southwest Donbas, but said ‘I don’t even know how to fire an automatic weapon.’ The student and his unit fired back and evaded capture, but he was injured in a later battle, he told Reuters news agency. He did not say when the fighting took place. He said that at one point, he was forced to drink water from a fetid pond full of dead frogs because of a lack of supplies. Two other sources in contact with draftees also said the men had to drink untreated water.