– Recruits from the Donbas region were sent to the front lines without training, little food and water and with old weapons, the news agency wrote. Reuters.
They spoke to six anonymous sources who all spoke of very difficult conditions for recruits from Donbass. The six asked to hide their identities for fear of reprisals. Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which make up the Ukrainian part of Donbass, have been subject to the pro-Russian insurgency funded by Russia since 2014.
Russian soldiers struggle with the motive: – The reality they are told does not match what they see on the ground
One of the recruits told Reuters he was told to prepare for close combat with Ukrainian forces southwest of Donbass.
– But I don’t even know how to fire an automatic weapon, says the man who is usually a student.
Russian tactics surprise: – We scratch our heads
The student and his team repelled the attack from the Ukrainian forces, but he has since been wounded in other battles. Reuters does not know when the matches will be played.
Reuters also spoke to three women who have husbands on the front lines, and these three are in frequent contact with their husbands on the mobile phone. Reuters verified the identity of the student and other sources they spoke to.
NATO estimates that up to 40,000 Russian soldiers have been killed or wounded in Ukraine
“The armed forces of Donbass fight alongside Russian forces, but they are not part of the official Russian forces,” Reuters wrote.
In Russia, it is illegal to send conscripts to the front. These rules do not apply to conscripts from Donbass.
Now Putin has to make a choice: – A difficult decision
Reuters writes that many soldiers called up for service in the Donbass armed forces were equipped with Mosin Nagant rifles, also known as the M91 / 30. This weapon was developed in the late 19th century and was in production until the 1960s. During the Second World War, countless rifles of this type were produced and they are constantly appearing in war zones around the world to this day.
The student Reuters spoke to said he had to drink water from a pond, because Donbass forces were struggling with supply lines. Two other sources also confirmed to Reuters that soldiers fighting for Donbass had to drink unclean water.
“We had to drink water with dead frogs on it,” the student told Reuters.
According to Reuters, some recruits from Donbass were instructed to attract enemy fire so that other units could locate and bombard Ukrainian positions.
In response to a question by Reuters about the low morale and poor treatment of the Donbass forces, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was about the Donetsk People’s Republic. They did not respond to Reuters inquiries.
Reuters also spoke to a Donbass woman named Veronica. She says that her husband was sent to the front lines in Mariupol. There, the man, along with about 135 other recruits from the Donbass, allegedly laid down their arms and refused to fight.
According to Reuters, the men were held in a basement as punishment. Reuters did not write how long they stayed in the basement, but the soldiers were said to have been moved to deserted houses after a while.
“He has never served and doesn’t even know how to hold a gun,” a woman calling herself Olga from the town of Mikivka told Reuters. Her boyfriend was sent to war against Ukraine.
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