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Untrained Russian draftees sent to fight for Makiivka sustain heavy losses, survivors record video message

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A group of mobilized men from the town of Serpukhov near Moscow have complained that they were sent to fight near the village of Makiivka in Luhansk region (liberated by the Ukrainian army in November) without proper uniforms and training, and were fired upon by their own troops during their retreat. The group sustained heavy losses, according to their video message, which was published by the VChK-OGPU Telegram channel.

The survivors are currently in a military camp in Baranykivka in the Luhansk region. The draftees were moved into a ruined house and “do not know what to do.” The building where they are stationed has has no electricity or windows, and the men have nothing to eat.

In the video, one of the mobilized men introduces himself as Vladimir Andreyevich Gurin, and then says that “there aren't many of us left, we were battered.” According to him, the unit’s command rejected the group, and they are now trying to organize a company on their own and command themselves. Gurin also mentions a combatant who introduced himself as “Tochka” and divided the company into two units. The first unit of 60 men went to fight for Makiivka, and not all of them returned. The draftees also complained that they were told “not to take anything with them,” ended up with “bad uniforms” and were not briefed on where they would be sent.

After the announcement of “partial” mobilization in Russia, videos in which the draftees complain about the poor attitude of their command, as well as the lack of uniforms and payments promised by Vladimir Putin, were posted on social networks. Soldiers have said they do not want to go to war with rusty weapons from the 1970s and without proper training. The sister of one mobilized soldier, who posted a video of her complaints on social networks, was fined 30,000 roubles (close to $500) for “discrediting” the Russian army.

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