Mobilized Russian conscripts are protesting in Belgorod Oblast due to their poor living conditions, lack of equipment, and being issued with decommissioned weapons, Russian independent news outlet The Insider reported on Oct. 6.
In a video posted on one Russian Telegram channels on Oct. 5, a man can be seen saying that about 500 newly conscripted Russians currently staying in Belgorod Oblast have not been not assigned to any unit, and have lived "in barbaric conditions" for a week. He adds that none of them know where they are going, and the weapons they’ve been issued with aren’t listed in the armory rolls. He also complained about the officers' "barbaric attitude".
“Nobody needs us, there is absolutely no training… We spent s**ttons of money just to get food, not to even mention the ammo,” says one of the men in the video.
“There are 400 people standing, we aren’t going anywhere, f**k them all… There are now three armored cars with machine guns,” another conscript says on a video recorded at the same site.
“We’re being thrown around the woods, we lived for six days in trenches that we dug ourselves, they gave us no fu**ing tents, we lived in dugouts," he says indignantly.
Another video shows conscripts complaining about “weapons from the 70s and 80s”, the cold, and catching pneumonia – as they’ve been forced to live in the streets.
As noted by Mark Krutov, a correspondent for RFE/RL's Russian Service, some men on this video have patches of the Wagner Group and most of them wear balaclavas. He says these videos are being actively shared by pro-Wagner Telegram channels. The journalist also speculated that the video could have been staged.
On Sept. 21, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin announced a "partial mobilization" in the country. Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoigu said they plan to send another 300,000 reservists to the front.
According to Russian opposition media, though, classified mobilization plans include sending as much as a million Russians to war against Ukraine. Russians began to massively buy tickets to other countries and rapidly flee their homeland in order to avoid participation in the war.
The UK’s Ministry of Defense reported earlier that the Russian Federation faced significant problems related to the accommodation, training, equipment and deployment of mobilized and conscripts.