According to his lawyer, a Russian soldier has been arrested after he confronted a commander about equipment shortages and the “poor” training his unit has been given.
Alexander Leshkov, who was reportedly drafted under Russian President Vladimir Putin’s partial mobilization order, got into a dispute with an officer at a training center near Moscow, his lawyer Anri Tsiskarishvili told the Pravozashchita (Human Rights) Telegram channel.
He was filmed shouting and pushing an officer in clips that are circulating on social media. According to local media reports, he criticized poor training conditions and a lack of equipment for deployment in Ukraine.
“You’re not obeying the commander-in-chief’s direct orders to supply and train mobilized soldiers,” Leshkov is heard saying in one of the clips. “I speak for the group,” he added, before shoving the officer, identified as Lieutenant Colonel Denis Mazanov.
“You shouldn’t have done that,” Mazanov responded.
Leshkov was charged with violence against a superior serviceman during mobilization, Tsiskarishvili said. He faces up to 15 years in prison.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said on October 27 that Russian forces in Ukraine are seeing “significant” manpower losses because of their lack of training with “basic” types of weapons.
In an operational update on Facebook, the General Staff detailed what it said were some of the issues facing Russia’s troops in the Ukraine war. These included a lack of material and technical support for Russian units taking part in “hostilities” on Ukrainian territory.
It added that mobilized Russian troops who “arrived in the area to perform combat missions did not undergo appropriate training and lack practical skills in the use of basic types of weapons. This leads to significant losses of enemy manpower.”
Since Putin announced a partial mobilization on September 21, multiple reports have emerged of new draftees being sent to the front line in Ukraine without proper training or adequate supplies.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov acknowledged last month that Russia lacks enough supplies for its newly mobilized soldiers, but assured that a newly formed council created by Putin would resolve the issues.
“Vigorous measures taken to rectify the situation are already yielding the first positive results,” he said.
Russian forces are also being incentivized to perform well in the war. Mobilized soldiers are now being offered monetary rewards for destroying or capturing Ukrainian military equipment, according to the Zvezda TV channel of the Russian Defense Ministry.
Mobilized soldiers will receive 300,000 rubles ($4,980) for a destroyed Ukrainian plane, 200,000 rubles ($3,320) for a helicopter, 100,000 rubles ($1,660) for a tank, and 50,000 rubles ($830) each for drones, armored personnel carriers, combat vehicles, missile systems, the media outlet reported on Tuesday.
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