Russian soldiers falling sick en masse as morale plummets

Ukrainian forces hit Russian base in occupied Melitopol

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Russian soldiers are falling sick “en masse”, as they continue to suffer from a lack of appropriate winter clothing and medical supplies. As temperatures sink to below zero, many Russian conscripts find themselves without appropriate equipment to face the freezing temperatures. Numerous videos have been posted by angry Russian soldiers complaining about their poor treatment and the dire conditions they face.

Last week, Putin claimed that Russian officials had solved most of the major logistical supply issues encountered by the new military recruits.

However, families of Russian conscripts continue to complain about their terrible conditions.

In the most recent case, the wives of mobilised men from Irkutsk vented their anger at the treatment of their husbands to the region’s governor, Igor Kobzev.

The soldiers are currently based at a training centre in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk. 

The women said the men were falling ill with bronchitis and pneumonia and that there was no proper medical care available to them.

Anna Ivkina, a wife of one of the soldiers, sent a message to Mr Kobzev via his Vkontakt social media page. (Vkontakt is the Russian equivalent of Facebook). 

She wrote: “There is no proper medical care and they have to buy medicine themselves.

“They are already on antibiotics for the third time and all this while having to live in tents.”

She urged the governor to take action to help the soldiers.

In an interview with the local media outlet Baikal People, she said her 32-year-old husband had been mobilised at the end of October.

He was sent to the Koltsovo training centre in Novosibirsk, where the conscripts have been living in tents.

Temperatures have over the last few days plunged to minus 30 degrees.

Another mobilised soldier from the Shilovo training centre located nearby said that up to “95 percent” of the soldiers were falling ill.

The soldier went down with pneumonia and has just recently recovered and returned to training.

He said: “Many drink alcohol to make it easier to endure the cold.

“Because of this, there have been cases of frostbite, someone has already been hospitalised.”

It comes as reports continue of mass desertions by Russian troops due to low morale, despite Putin’s claims to the contrary.

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The Russian President said fewer soldiers were abandoning their units during a meeting with the Council on Civil Society and Human Rights (HRC) on December 7.

However, Ukraine’s General Staff reported that about 20 former prisoners operating on the frontlines near Yasynuvata, in Donetsk province, deserted while their unit was in transit.

They added that Russian forces killed at least three of the deserters and that the search operation for the others is ongoing.

A Russian source also reported that Russian officials are conducting searches for deserters in Astrakhan, Rostov, and Volgograd oblasts, and in the Kalmykia Republic.

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