Richard Branson once said, “Take care of your people, and they’ll take care of you.” Though this was primarily attributed to businesses, it is fitting for the military too.
Since the war began in February this year, we’ve seen the stark divide between Ukrainian and Russian military leadership. While Moscow is busy replacing people in weeks or months, Ukraine’s “Iron General” Valerii Zaluzhnyi continues to steadily lead his troops forward with a clear vision in mind. Then, in September, SOFREP featured the memoir of a Russian veteran who was one of the first batches of conscripts called out to attack Ukraine. His story was very telling on how chaos is the norm in Russian operations. Despite media portrayal of the Russian military as the troop you have to be scared of, 34-year-old Pavel Filatyev said foot soldiers were treated like trash.
“Have you ever seen the paintings of the Sack of Rome by the barbarians? This is the best way to describe what was going on around me,” Filatyev said.
No heating, no electricity, no floating water.
— NOËL 🇪🇺 🇺🇦 (@NOELreports) October 23, 2022
He added that the conditions were not only harsh but they were also starved and were not given the right kind of ammunition. They usually get a pile of firearms, and it is up to them to clean it up and fix it. This is very similar to the reports about the soldiers Russians have called up during their nationwide mobilization. Citizens are complaining about the lack of training, support, and weaponry. Another witness said the new recruits had to buy their own guns and food just so they could at least protect themselves on the frontlines. The new recruits’ parents and family members also exposed that their loved ones were sent away, and in a matter of weeks (or days), they came home in coffins.
“They are giving them at best basics and at worst nothing and throwing them into combat, which suggests that these guys are just literally cannon fodder,” said William Alberque, a specialist in the Russian armed forces and the director of the arms control program at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Check out the latest snap of a Russian brigade sent to war with “no food, water, electricity or heat.”
The despicable conditions under which "partially mobilized" #Russians from the Moscow region were housed. There is no food, water, electricity or heat.
— Stepan Gronk (@StepanGronk) October 24, 2022
Meanwhile, Ukrainians who were stationed out at critical defense points have “apartments” built in, with heating, electricity, beds, and even a TV.
And this is what the apartments of the Armed Forces of Ukraine look like.
— Lew Anno Yieretz Israel (@anno1540) October 23, 2022
As for the Russian media, some TV hosts are even calling out their military leadership.
“Military leaders, now is not the time to lie. You have no right to lie and now it is a crime,” said Natalya Loseva, the deputy editorial director of the RT television channel.
“The Russian military leadership is continuing to compromise the future reconstitution of the force by prioritizing the immediate mobilization of as many bodies as possible for ongoing fighting in Ukraine,” the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War said in a recent assessment.