From the front lines of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there are a great many stories emerging about the horrid conditions that the newest conscripts are facing.
The Russian army fist arrived in Ukraine under-equipped and under-powered, and not much has changed in the ensuing 8 months. Now, with 300,000 civilian conscripts now being thrown toward the hot zone to serve as cannon fodder, a growing sentiment of revolt is rearing its ugly head.
In footage taken inside a military camp, one uniformed conscript earns raucous cheers from his peers after suggesting soldiers should topple their leaders.
The unnamed reservist spoke about the lack of respect soldiers hold for Putin and his commanders, berating an unseen official for using threats to get people to join the cause.
He mocked a policy in his region – the Tuva republic in Siberia – to gift a ram to each family of those mobilised.
‘You give our families, children, a manky ram [sheep], and some groceries,’ he said, adding disparagingly: ‘What is this?’
He ridiculed an army-issued foreign guitar when they are not supplied with adequate weapons.
‘They give us an [imported] guitar,’ he said to cheers from fellow conscripts. ‘Are we going to shoot a guitar on the battlefield?’
A vast number of Russian troops have deserted their posts as they come into contact with Ukrainian forces, some dropping their rifles and scurrying back toward Russia, and others simply surrendering and allowing the rival army to commandeer their equipment.