Putin’s own troops continue to humiliate him

It was just hours after Russia’s Vladimir Putin hailed his mobilization as a resounding success on Friday for a spate of humiliating reports to emerge suggesting the war effort has been more successful in turning the country against him than mythical Nazis in Ukraine have been defeat.

Perhaps the most jarring contradiction to the Russian president’s boastful claims came in Kazan, where dozens of drafted troops were caught on video late Friday berating military leaders outside a rallying point for newly mobilized soldiers.

The angry crowd complained about a lack of water, food and “rusty” 1970s guns, which a soldier said were too “dangerous” to even use, according to local media. Spectacularly, the troops were not intimidated by a military officer who threatened to call in riot police.

“What kind of riot police are you trying to scare us with? We’re going to call everyone we know now and they’re going to come and we’re going to beat up all of you and the riot police,” a protesting soldier yelled back.

The officer was forced to retreat as the crowd of insurgent troops chanted “cocksuckers,” video shows.

According to Tatar-Inform, local authorities on Saturday said the problems cited by the troops were “solved”. But outrage continued to simmer elsewhere, including in Voronezh, where members of withdrawn troops gathered outside the local prosecutor’s office to film a video appeal to the governor, asking him to rescue new troops from their own command.

“The very first day they laid [the draftees] at the frontline [in Luhansk]. The commando left the battlefield and fled, saying they would return soon and bring their belongings to the mobilized troops,” a family member said in a video shared by the independent newspaper Verstka.

Within 40 minutes of being thrown onto the battlefield, she said the leadership had not returned, shelling had begun and “fighting lasted for three days”.

“They didn’t sleep, didn’t eat and held the fort for three days and, unlike the commando, didn’t run away,” she said.

“They tell us on the phone that our sons are alive and well and even doing their military duty. How the hell are they alive and well when they all got killed there? the mother of another soldier told Verstka.

More than 500 soldiers from that battalion were subsequently killed after being abandoned by command, according to one of the surviving soldiers who spoke to the outlet.

Aleksei Agafonov told Werstka his battalion originally numbered 570 men – but only 29 made it all the way and another 12 were wounded after heavy fighting outside Russian-held Makeyevka. The massive casualties were confirmed by another surviving soldier identified as Nikolai Voronin.

“There were a lot of dead people, they were everywhere… Their arms and legs were ripped off,” Voronin said, adding that the troops were ordered to dig trenches before all hell broke loose and many of them “almost dug their own graves.” ”

“When it all started, the officers immediately ran away,” Agafonov said.

“On TV they show that everything is beautiful, but in reality here in the Luhansk region they purposefully throw mobilized troops to the front, and when we left there without seeing officers, we went back and saw that in the third line it are only contractors and volunteers, and conscripts are on the front lines,” he said

At a ceremony in Red Square on Friday, Putin attempted to paint a very different picture of his mobilization efforts, boasting that thousands of men had decided to join voluntarily, resulting in a total of 318,000 new troops, of which he said 49,000 were already “doing their duty” in the military ranks.

“The number of volunteers is not decreasing,” he said in RIA Novosti comments.

“It’s a very large number of people [mobilized]. Families are left behind, mothers, fathers, children, wives … Of course the state does everything to support them,” he said.

He further invoked the popular Russian slogan “We don’t leave our own behind,” claiming the phrase was “not empty words,” but “how everything happens in reality.”

The most damning rebuke of that claim came just hours later from a Ukrainian intelligence man identified as a soldier in the Russian 752nd Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment in occupied Donetsk – who said troops there were literally ordered to leave their own behind, the authorities said government can avoid paying their families the promised payouts.

The admission came in a phone call between the Russian soldier and someone at home, which Ukrainian authorities said was bugged.

“They will not allow the 200s to be collected,” said the alleged soldier, using Russian military jargon for those killed in action. “No body, no case. Maybe [they will think the person killed] was captured and they can withhold money from the relatives and not fucking pay. Do you get the idea?”

When asked if he personally saw the abandoned bodies, he said, “Of course.”

“They’re just fucking lying around and we can’t collect them,” he told his stunned interlocutor, who asked in disbelief if the military command only treated conscripts like that.

“It’s like that with everyone across the board,” he said. Putin’s own troops continue to humiliate him

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