Mutiny in Putin’s ranks? Conscripts drafted into Ukraine war ‘threaten to topple Russian regime over spluttering invasion’
- Dozens of soldiers have staged an extraordinary mutiny against Vladimir Putin
- One conscript told the group they should topple the rules over Ukraine invasion
- There are mounting concerns from the frontline about the lack of resources
- Russian men are being called to war with a lack of food, weapons and clothes
Dozens of mobilised soldiers have staged an extraordinary mutiny against Vladimir Putin amid mounting unrest over the spluttering Ukraine invasion.
In footage taken inside a military camp, one uniformed conscript earns raucous cheers from his peers after suggesting soldiers should topple their leaders.
The unnamed reservist spoke about the lack of respect soldiers hold for Putin and his commanders, berating an unseen official for using threats to get people to join the cause.
He mocked a policy in his region – the Tuva republic in Siberia – to gift a ram to each family of those mobilised.
‘You give our families, children, a manky ram [sheep], and some groceries,’ he said, adding disparagingly: ‘What is this?’
In footage taken inside a military camp, one uniformed conscript earns raucous cheers from his peers after suggesting soldiers should topple their rulers
The unnamed reservist spoke about the lack of respect soldiers hold for Putin and his commanders, berating an unseen official for using threats to get people to join the cause
The Kremlin is losing support from Russian soldiers at a rapid speed as the invasion of Ukraine continues to falter
In his heroic address – for which he could face severe punishment in Putin’s Russia – the reservist told his top brass officers ‘threatened us’ when they were drafted.
‘They told us that if we didn’t go there [to Ukraine], they would put us in jail,’ he said in his native Tuvan language.
‘They wouldn’t help our families, they would stop all payments… There are not enough walkie-talkies for our squads… How will we communicate [in the war zone]?’
He also joined a chorus of voices on the frontline complaining about the lack of suitable equipment and gear.
In the vision, the reservist said his group had not been given enough walkie-talkies and no adequate socks ahead of being sent 3,200 miles to fight for Putin.
‘These socks issued to us are of no use. We have already bought enough ourselves.’
He ridiculed an army-issued foreign guitar when they are not supplied with adequate weapons.
‘They give us an [imported] guitar,’ he said to cheers from fellow conscripts. ‘Are we going to shoot a guitar on the battlefield?’
His outburst is all the more significant since his region is also the home of heavily-criticised Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu, who Putin has steadfastly refused to fire despite strong demands for his head over the failure of the military campaign.
The reservist asked bluntly: ‘If there are no people like us, who will you be in authority over?
‘Who are you going to make all your speeches to?
Amid applause from the crowd, he said: ‘You no longer look like a source of power in our eyes. Perhaps we people should all get together and decide you are of no use.’
His outburst is all the more significant since his region is also the home of heavily-criticised Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu, who Putin has steadfastly refused to fire despite strong demands for his head over the failure of the military campaign
Tuva – an impoverished region – has suffered a high death toll during the war, far more than Moscow.
The region also saw protests – violently crushed by Putin’s law enforcement – over men being sent to the war.
Messages seen within a Telegraph channel said the Tuvan conscript also questioned whether it was worth tolerating their leaders when they treated conscripts so badly.
In late September, Putin announced 300,000 people with previous combat experience or specialist skills would be conscripted to the frontlines in Ukraine to help with the war.
Reports from dissenting voices out of Russia revealed pensioners, men with disabilities, and people without any military training or combat experience were receiving the call-up to fight on the frontlines.
Leaked complaints from new frontline arrivals in Ukraine reveal the ailing Russian army is struggling to keep their men clothed, fed and armed.
Often, conscripts are told they must by their own supplies, sending the cost of standard items like body armour, weapons and camping gear through the roof.
Body armour in Russia has soared to around £1,115 with a rucksack costing up to £560 and thermal underwear skyrocketing to more than £300.
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