Theft in the Russian army: why the mobilized are collected and dressed by families and volunteers

15:00 27 October Kyiv, Ukraine

After the “partial” mobilization officially announced on September 21, a wave of information swept through the Russian Federation about Moscow’s ban on reimbursement of equipment costs to mobilized Russians. It was said that the country has sufficient stocks of military ammunition and the state will not compensate for the personal expenses of the mobilized.

“In fact, it turned out that the alleged stocks were stolen long ago, and the families of the mobilized, friends and volunteers have to buy everything they need on their own, from shorts to bulletproof vests,” analysts said, citing data obtained from unofficial sources of information.

“Called for mobilization are provided with everything necessary for service, including uniforms, equipment, etc.. Therefore, the purchase by the mobilized of additional elements of uniforms, equipment, medicines, etc. is his personal initiative ... ”, the media controlled by the Kremlin wrote at the end of September.

Political scientists and military analysts in the Ukrainian media already in early October wrote that the real state of the Russian army can be judged not only by maps of “regroupings” and evacuations of the pro-Russian population. But also because of the concern of the authorities with the quality of providing the troops with the most elementary and necessary.

After a series of arrests of military officials for the illegal "sale" and write-off of military ammunition, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin gave the go-ahead to purchase uniforms, medicines, food, clothing, and personal hygiene products to bypass the budget of the Ministry of Defense. “The level of support for intelligence and command and control is evidenced by the fact that volunteer and other public organizations will supply communications equipment, thermal imagers, drones, sights and even vehicles directly to the battlefield,” the Ukrainian special services say.

Andrey Gurulev, member of the State Duma for Defense, was indignant at the disappearance of sets of uniforms for personnel. “It is still unclear to me where the one and a half million kits that were stored at the points of reception of personnel have gone.. Where are the problems with the form, with something else?

The situation is so deplorable, say Ukrainian military experts, because Russian military officials, young and old, have been stealing stocks of uniforms, shoes and other items from their own army for decades. It is known that over the past 8 years, garrison military courts have passed at least 558 sentences for the loss of property from clothing stores, from uniforms to fuel.

This problem, perhaps, would have remained on the periphery of public interest if Russia had not started a war with Ukraine, and then mobilization. It was the mobilization that showed that the Russian army is not only unable to organize competent logistics, it cannot even dress its soldiers. Relatives of the mobilized are forced to buy them berets, balaclavas, socks, backpacks, uniforms, as well as body armor and first aid kits at their own expense.