One of the Kremlin’s most prominent nationalist politicians said the Russian military does not have an adequate number of doctors or other adequate supplies in an extraordinary tirade against the state of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
During a meeting on Saturday with the mothers of soldiers mobilised for the war, Leonid Slutsky, leader of the populist Liberal Democratic Party and chairman of the foreign relations committee in the lower house of parliament, has been a staunch supporter of the invasion – but offered a surprising public admission of issues facing the Russian military.
He said at the meeting: “There are not enough doctors in the military units; everyone says this. I cannot say they do not exist at all, but they are practically not seen there.
“We must understand that the whole world is watching us. We are the largest state and when we do not have socks, shorts, doctors, intelligence, communications, or simply care for our children, questions arise that will be very difficult to answer.”
Russian conscripts asked to buy their own pants, shoes and socks online
Many Russian reservists called up to fight in Ukraine are probably having to buy their own body armour – and its prices have soared, the latest British intelligence briefing says.
The UK Ministry of Defence also said in its daily update that “endemic corruption and poor logistics” remained a cause of Russia’s “poor performance” in Ukraine.
The ministry said the average amount of personal equipment Russia was providing to its mobilised reservists was “almost certainly lower than the already poor provision of previously deployed troops”.
Many reservists are likely required to purchase their own body armour, especially the modern 6B45 vest, which is meant to be on general issue to combat units as part of the Ratnik personal equipment programme.
The ministry said the vest had been selling on Russian online shopping sites for 40,000 roubles (about US$640 or £570), up from about 12,000 roubles in April.
It said that in 2020 Russian authorities announced that 300,000 sets of the Ratnik armour had been supplied to its military – “ample to equip the force currently deployed in Ukraine”.
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