“We have to buy everything”: Russian soldiers poorly equipped in the Ukrainian war

Russian soldiers preparing to be dispatched to fight in Ukraine have to buy personal equipment at their own expense, talked To the Russian style service of the Moscow Times on condition of anonymity.

Some of the items apparently not offered by the military include footwear, bulletproof vests, bandages and tourniquets.

“If they issue you a field uniform, you’re lucky — you can save some money. At least as a change of clothes, you need to buy a jacket and trousers … spending on uniforms I hope it will be rewarded and my salary will not be overdue, “said one Russian contract soldier. National Guard (Rosgvardia).

The man interviewed by the Moscow Times was promised a monthly salary of about 200,000 rubles ($ 3,365) if he signed a contract to join the Russian army fighting in Ukraine, but he had to buy all the equipment himself. Said.

“Level 4 combat vests-which can stop pistol and rifle bullets, and shrapnel-cost an average of 70,000 rubles ($ 1,200). Helmets cost an additional 10,000 rubles ($ 160). Decent. Boots cost about 5,000 rubles ($ 80) and actually require two pairs. Tactical vests cost 5,000 to 10,000 rubles ($ 80-160). Also jackets, pants, T-shirts, You also need to buy a pullover, which will be about 200,000 rubles ($ 3,365), “said a Rosgvardia soldier.

Russian soldiers from military units near the Urals told the Moscow Times that little equipment was provided to those heading to Ukraine.

“We have to buy everything ourselves with our own money. I’m not even talking about modern bulletproof vests and helmets. No warm clothes, dry food, first aid kits,” he said. rice field. “All the equipment we are fighting in Ukraine has a stink of mothball and is packed with weapons.”

Used military uniforms and equipment sold online.
Screenshot Avito

Online military stores are recording an increase in demand for body armor, helmets and bulletproof clothing, according to a manager who spoke to the Moscow Times.

“The basic Level 4 cost averages 52,000 rubles ($ 860), but you can’t protect yourself from bullets. The price of a high quality Level 4 vest with full protection is 138,000 ($ 2,280).” Said Yelena, a consultant at an online store that required her to speak anonymously and freely.

The Avantard equipment store sold the Level 4 vest for 195,000 rubles ($ 3,223), but the helmet priced up to 50,000 rubles ($ 826).

“Visored helmets are the most expensive. Cheap helmets are just hats. Visors protect your eyes, so prices are higher,” an Vanguard sales representative told the Moscow Times.

However, many soldiers do not use specialty stores and prefer to buy military equipment and clothing from the popular Russian online marketplace Avito.

A seller of Abito’s weapons introduced himself to Ilya when he was contacted by the Moscow Times, saying he was working as a medical device engineer at the Ministry of Defense.

According to Ilya, sales of vests and other protective equipment have skyrocketed in Abito since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.

“Many people want to fight. They have little time to advertise when they’re sold out. It’s not just about selling second-hand goods. I have helmets, bulletproof uniforms, and tactical vests.”

Ilya said the equipment he sells online was rejected by the military.

“Everything they have is approved and approved by the Ministry of Defense, so if there are a few flaws, the gear will be obsolete. We sell it at a small discount. I don’t want to throw it away. But it’s 100%. It’s high quality, “he said.

Russian soldiers from the Luhansk region of Ukraine. Sergei Bobilev / TASS
Russian soldiers from the Luhansk region of Ukraine.
Sergei Bobilev / TASS

A military officer who spoke to the Moscow Times said that the Russian Army Ratnik military kit was not issued, but it can be purchased at Avito.

“Ratnik can be purchased for 35,000 rubles ($ 575). It’s easy to walk and run, but the ceramic plate protects only the chest and back. At best, it can protect from shrapnel,” Ilya said. Told.

According to Ilya, a better option than Ratnik is the gladiator body armor, used by the Russian army in Syria and costing 86,000 ($ 1,410).

“Buy the highest quality gear and don’t negotiate. Staying alive is worth it,” he said.

Since the invasion began, there is widespread evidence that Russian troops have had logistics and supply problems in Ukraine.Some Russian soldiers Was stolen Ukrainian shoes, according to Ukrainian media reports.

A Russian soldier in Ukraine at the beginning of the war told the Moscow Times that the shoes and clothing he issued were not winter equipment.

“I had frostbite on my legs,” he said. “In Ukraine, it was always frozen day and night. I was always thinking of ways to keep it warm.”

Not all military tents have stoves, and Russian soldiers were trying to keep them warm with rugs. according to To Ruslan Leviev, Conflict intelligence team investigating Russian military and mercenary activities.

Russian soldiers who spoke to the Moscow Times said they were also assembling their own first aid kits.

“They issue bandages, iodine, and tourniquets,” said a Rosgvardia soldier. “They tell you in advance that if you get injured, it won’t save you, but putting one together costs more.”

Avito seller Ilya has confirmed that there is a problem with the frontline medical situation. “I have put together a kit of 20,000 rubles ($ 325). Antibiotics, tourniquets, dyslexia, trauma pads, syringes, coagulants, etc. are the minimum required. You have your own first aid kit. No one will save you if you don’t squeeze. On the battlefield, iodine can’t stop bleeding, “he said.

This article is based on the original report of the Moscow Times Russian service. “We have to buy everything”: Russian soldiers poorly equipped in the Ukrainian war

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