Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a nationwide mobilization of about 300,000 reservists, and it was faced with mixed reactions. Many fled to European borders, while others were firm in their stance to fight for their Russo-motherland. Others took the streets, but as you can expect from Russia, they were collected by local authorities and put in jail.

And after this announcement, it was reported that these new recruits were now being deployed to the frontlines with just days of training, becoming “cannon fodder” for Ukrainian attacks. According to reports, Putin announced last Friday that 16,000 new recruits have just been deployed for combat. Looking at the timeline of the mobilization announcement, it seems like these men were either military reserves who already had training before or younger men who had limited to no experience in combat training. The Times also reported that most recruits had less than 10 days of training. One of the conscripts admitted he only held a gun once.

Another anonymous source told The Times that draft recruits in Yekaterinburg (central Russia) were seen marching on the streets in their casual attire, with “no machine guns, nothing, no clothes, no shoes.” The Observer added that half of those lined up looked too old, too frail to even be in battle.

“Half of them are hungover, old, at risk—the ambulance should be on duty.”

Some Russian citizens agree as they see these new Russian soldiers getting their supplies passed on from training centers.

“This is not how it’s done,” said one of the women interviewed.

“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.

Russian soldiers of Kosovo Force
Russian soldiers of Kosovo Force (KFOR) sitting atop a BTR-70 Armored Personnel Carrier (wheeled) watch for potential violence between Serbs and Albanians in the town of Domorovce, Kosovo. (Source: The U.S. National Archives/picryl)

Theoretically, the mobilization should only call in reservists who had initial training from the military, but the reality is far from it.