A top Russian officer reportedly had his face smashed during a brawl with furious conscripts after telling them their lives were going to be thrown away on the front lines in Ukraine.
The mobilised recruits turned on the Russian lieutenant-colonel after he bluntly said: ‘You are all cannon fodder, you are facing slaughter.’
The high-ranking officer had his face ‘smashed’ and bones in his face broken in a brawl in which ‘every single one of them was drunk’, say reports.
Many of the reservists – among hundreds of thousands thrown into the war under a Vladimir Putin decree – were left distraught after being told they will die at the front.
However, the commander was likely being accurate in saying the Putin call-up will lead to mass deaths of untrained reservists sent to the front.
It is just the latest tale of chaos, fighting and drunkenness among newly mobilised Russian conscripts, with reports of many being sent to front lines with little or zero training while being told to buy their own supplies and equipment.
A top Russian officer reportedly had his face smashed during a brawl with furious conscripts after telling them their lives were going to be thrown away on the front lines in Ukraine -MailOnline was unable to verify if these images capture the moment
The brawl took place at the Rubin Palace of Sports in Moscow in the Russian town of Penza, where the men have been stationed in a makeshift barracks before being sent into battle in Ukraine
After a counteroffensive by Ukraine this month dealt Moscow’s forces heavy battlefield setbacks, Putin called up 300,000 reservists to join the fight
Russian officers – often themselves conscripted – have been advising new recruits to bring their own sleeping bags, tourniquets, medicines and roll mats.
A video shows a punch-up, but it is not clear if this was the brawl in which the officer’s face was struck, or just another brawl among disgruntled grunts.
The recruits turned on top brass officer at the Rubin Palace of Sports in Russian the town of Penza, where the men have been stationed in a makeshift barracks before being sent into battle in Ukraine.
Later reports said the unnamed Lt-Colonel’s face was ‘all smashed’ with broken bones.
The brother of a draftee said: ‘My brother messaged me just now.
‘There was a Lt Colonel walking among [the newly-mobilised], telling them: ‘You are all cannon fodder, you are facing slaughter’.
‘There was a fight, the colonel’s face was smashed.
‘They could hardly pull them apart. One person fell sick [after the cannon cannon fodder threat].
‘Two ambulances rushed there in one hour. Many people felt sick, many were in tears.
‘One tried to escape, they caught him. It’s a f***ing nightmare what’s happening there .
‘There were 1,080 people there now, in Rubin [sports palace]. They’ll end up in knife fights, it’s a complete mess there.
‘All of them are drunk. Every single one of them.’
Meanwhile, another piece of footage showed what appeared to be a female quartermaster talking to new recruits and advising them to bring tampons.
A Russian soldier claiming to already be in a foxhole in Ukraine says he and his comrade (right) were abandoned with no food or water and are being shelled
The sanitary products can be used to plug bullet wounds and stop bleeding in the absence of medical kit, the woman tells the new recruits.
‘They won’t give it to us?’ one of the new recruits asks.
‘It’s all our own, boys,’ the woman shouts back. ‘You will be given a uniform and armour, nothing else.’
Yet further videos have emerged showing a newly-recruited tank commander who has been told he will deploy to the Kherson frontline in just two days without so much as firing a shot on a training range.
More footage captures two troops sitting in a field in Ukraine and complaining that they have been abandoned by their commanders without food or water, and that they would be better off fighting for the other side.
These are just the latest examples of poor morale and preparation within the Russian ranks after Putin’s army exhausted itself in seven months of war in Ukraine.
In footage posted online, the tank commander says: ‘The officials have told us that there will be no training prior to us being sent to the conflict zone.
Our commander officially confirmed that we’ll be sent to Kherson on the 29th September. Make your own decisions about what to do with that moving forward…
‘There’s been no training whatsoever – no shooting, no theoretical training… nothing. F***.’
Mark Krutov, a journalist from Radio Free Europe, managed to track down the commander, and confirmed he is at a barracks called Kalininets in Moscow.
The man said he was a night-shift worker from Moscow who was asleep at home when soldiers knocked on his door and ordered him to the front.
Asked to elaborate on his complaints, he replied: ‘Can’t talk now, things have changed drastically, hopefully for the better,’ and went out of contact.
A newly-conscripted Russian tank commander complains that he and his crew have been told they will deploy to Kherson within two days having been given no training
Meanwhile other footage showed two men claiming to be Russian soldiers sitting in a fox-hole in a forest, purportedly in Ukraine.
‘Here we are in the forest,’ the man says to camera as his comrade sits behind him.
‘We were just shelled, they hit us from metres away. We were left in the forest… Like cannon fodder sent to the f***ing forest.
‘What [are our commanders] playing at with this army that simply doesn’t work? It’s worse than working in the Ukrainian armed forces.
‘F***ing f***ers… And none of the commanders of our team are here, they all f***ed off, they were the first to go. Now there’s just us ‘contractors’.
‘There is nothing on our machines, no supplies, no electronics. No binoculars, no thermal imagers, nothing at all. Machine gun and ammo. And the bayonet. But there is not a f***ing thing. Here we sit, waiting. Let’s see what will happen.
‘At night we sit on the battlefield, on the front line. It’s right across the field. These bastards have left us without f***ing water. No food. Let’s see what will happen next.’
In an attempt to solve Russia’s chronic manpower problem, Putin ordered what he called the ‘partial mobilisation’ of Russian military reserves on September 21.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of men have been ordered to military bases where they have been hastily equipped and given minimal training before being rushed to the battlefield.