'It's just meat': Russian contract soldiers who fought in Ukraine told what they think about mobilization
Mobilization in Russia has been going on for a week now. Some conscripts are already at the front (and without training); others sleep right on the floor in the barracks (similar to a prison); still others are forced to buy the simplest medicines and uniforms with their own money (and as for weapons, in some parts they turned out to be rusty), reports Meduza.
What do those who have already been at war in Ukraine, Russian contract soldiers and mercenaries, think about this?
To be honest, they will all die there in Ukraine. They get hurt and die. This is not a trained army! For example, I served under a contract for a long time, I made my way to the front myself - and still I was not ready. On the very first day, I realized that I had made the biggest mistake of my life.
When I myself sought to leave for Ukraine, I was a charged patriot. I believed that there were some kind of national formations, “Right Sector”, “Aidar”, “Azov”. Plus, I've seen enough films - "Sunshine", "Militia". Plus, in telegram and TV, all channels are geared towards pumping our brains.
But even while we were being transported across the border in the Ural (truck), I realized that we were the occupiers, we were the fascists. I was "onboard" - that is, I sat on the edge of the side of the truck. Watching the picture that floats by. that remains after us. All these ruined Kharkov villages. I realized that we are really destroying the country. Together with the civilian population.
You pass through the settlement - the children run out onto the road and gesture after you: either “smoke” or “eat”. It just didn't fit in my head. The world turns upside down, emptiness inside, you understand that your whole life is still a fiction. Soap bubble.
So we got to Izyum (in the Kharkiv region). I was on the front end for three days - and again I saw the light when our art hit us. Then these stupid orders began...
I have served a lot and I understand when I am sent to be slaughtered. And the man with big shoulder straps went to hell right away: “I’m not a bargaining chip, I’m a soldier of the Russian army - I just can’t be allowed into consumption.” To which he answered me: “So you are just meat. You are the third member of this battalion. Do you know where the previous two died? And you will die here." And to my group leader, he said: "Send your meat forward."
It was they who tried to advance and threw us at the stronghold of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, where the tanks worked, and artillery, and machine guns. And there were up to a company of personnel - and we were only 40 people.
You wake up there in the morning one person - and by the evening you are already another. Metamorphoses happen to you such that it becomes scary. From how blind you were. And deaf.
I lay down for two or three days in a trench - and drove out in the first car that came across. I jumped into the first transport that went from our positions for food and ammunition. At first they told me that “we don’t take refuseniks,” but I found myself: “I have a machine gun, so you will take me now anyway.”
I reached Izyum, where our headquarters was, introduced myself, said that was all: I officially refuse. The work of psychologists and political officers began. They began to persuade us, to promise mountains of gold ...
And then I ended up in Bryanka, from where tough objectors were immediately taken away in an unknown direction. Then I decided to cheat. He told everyone: “Guys, why are you, I’m not a conscientious objector - I need to go for family reasons. On vacation and back! I put so many dill, my hands are up to the elbow in blood. My platoon is animals, they won’t go anywhere without me.” He portrayed, apparently, convincingly - escaped.
I think that mobilization is simply dragging out the war until frost. Until Europe freezes over. I don't see how you can change the course of this war at all. The losses will be huge: if now 10 infantrymen are sitting on one, conditionally, square, now 100 people will be sitting on the same square. Under Ukrainian artillery.
To start “hitting dill”, as they yell about it, you still need to get to them! And how can these 300 thousand people with machine guns influence anything there? It's a crowd, an untrained crowd. Even the professional military, when they are without the support of aviation and tanks, it's just a crowd. Even with me, there were no tanks and aircraft, and the artillery was hitting by. And sometimes for us.
I am writing off now with a comrade who remains at the forefront. I told him that, they say, mobilization. “Yes, you heard. And what's the point." Here is his quote: "What a waste!" Everyone understands that there is no sense in mobilization. There are now even people who know how to do something, rake. And these recruits don't know anything at all!
For example, my friend was mobilized. He is a sailor, demobilized in 2005, worked in a mine all his life! When he told me that he was mobilized, my brain immediately turned off. They also took away other acquaintances: some were shepherds all their lives, grazed flocks. They do not remember how to shoot from a machine gun!
Miners, unemployed, shepherds, laborers. They are taken from villages and small towns. People who do not know anything in this life.
A relative called me the other day: “I went to the front - what should I take?” I advised to buy thermal underwear, socks, learn to dig very fast and run very fast. They may not need to shoot. Arrived - they threw you into a forest plantation - lie down. I gave him life hacks as best I could, but the average life expectancy at the forefront is up to three weeks. Those who serve for half a year are simply too lucky.
Even with this mobilization, there are many loopholes to avoid going there. Break your finger or cut it off. Sit in the zone. Isn't that the way out? From the zone there are more chances to return alive. If they call me, I will write a refusal - for it, according to the law, I am entitled to up to three years.
I'd rather choose a three-year zone than go there. The chance to survive there is so small ... One friend told me: “The zone is a stain for life!” And hands in blood are not washed at all.
But, of course, I do not directly recommend anyone from the mobilized relatives or acquaintances to break their fingers, give up or turn back from the front, because this is an incitement to violate the law. They weren't there, they think narrowly for the time being - they think that "we are doing everything right." And if one of them blurts out (reports to the authorities), then they will put me in jail.
Now it's generally scary: 1922-1939 - here they begin again, after a hundred years. And I really want to tell the mobilized, of course, that they turn around - how many of them will be there - and go towards Moscow, damn it.
Yes, even those to whom I tried to explain something did not listen to me. No one believes in words, you understand? I was the same - and once people who had already visited Ukraine tried to dissuade me. They called directly from the front and said: do not take it into your head.
In the current mobilized, I see myself three months ago. But I have no sympathy for them. If you have a choice, choose life! Yes, in prison, yes, the state will consider you a criminal - but you will not become a criminal for yourself. You won't kill anyone. You won't shoot anyone.
In fact, we are fascists. We are fascists. There is no other word here. In Ukraine, denazification and demilitarization are really now - but not for Ukraine, but for us.
I also received a notice the other day. I immediately called the military commissar and sent him three letters. The military commissar was offended: “Why are you talking to me like that?” And how to talk to you, Comrade Colonel? I spent half a year there in Ukraine as part of the Redut PMC - are you kidding me or what?
“And we have no information that you just returned from there!” Of course, "Redoubt" did not share this information with the military registration and enlistment office - it was as if we were officially not there.
But the military commissar already knows perfectly well who was rude to him: I introduced myself, that's all. He told me: "Come, we'll figure it out." I won’t go, of course, I understand perfectly well that they will put handcuffs on me there, put me on a train and take me to hell.
A bunch of mobilized guys have already called me back: “What should I do? Where to go? Go, I say, serve. He suggested what berets to buy, how to behave there.
Some of my acquaintances have just had children - in theory, they do not have the right to call. But they still call. People clutch at their heads: they don't know what to do. Many have loans, mortgages - who will pay for all this?
I don't understand what this crowd will do there. If we, professionals, snatched lyuli there, then where are they? At best, they will remain in reserve in the rear in the Donbass. At worst, they will die a heroic death. Two options.
Especially if they are sent to the front after a week of training. A week is nothing at all! Combat coordination of units should go on for at least a month and a half.
There is a shortage of professionals at the front. Competent commanders, for example: some have already been knocked out, some of the illiterate have not yet been finished off. The guys with whom we were together in the PMC are calling: “Come on, come back, we need you!” Mercenaries, when they enter Ukraine there, they go to the very front. And they don't know about these mobilized people.
And these mobilized IT people and the like meat - well, what will they do? Nothing will be changed at the front and will not be decided. A friend's son served a year - and he also received a summons. He didn’t sniff gunpowder during his term, God forbid, he shot a couple of times from a machine gun during his entire service. Well, where is it, where? What will happen to him there? I just do not understand. It doesn't fit in my head.
Why then recruit these 300 thousand? I think there will be a complete confrontation: NATO against Russia. I hope that they will not immediately throw those mobilized to the front and for now they will only cook. To have a reserve in a state of combat readiness. So that later, in the event of a direct conflict with NATO, only the “face” command was given - and that’s all, they flooded.
Everyone is scared. I'm scared too, to be honest with you. Some kind of tin, I feel, will be in full growth.
Those 300 Spartan rogues will be the first to die. But nothing, they need to get used to reality a little. They were under the dome for many years, while we kept all this (NATO forces) at a distance. But the Atlanteans also have limited strength.
I do not quite understand why mobilization is needed, but I do not ask unnecessary questions. Most likely, a maximum of 15% of those mobilized will actually go to the front. Most of these morons will not go to the front, but will replace people in the existing border units. This will allow them to keep their functionality, and the real military will be transferred from there to Ukraine.
The real problem now is not mobilization, but that professional mercenaries are not paid. If those grandmas who promised would pay ... Organize you the normal supply of equipment and normal salaries! A person receives 0,5 million rubles on a card - and the person is rushing [at the front] so that he cannot be stopped.
Professionals need to be collected, not all this rabble. These "reinforcements" on the front end did not hit anyone - the people who really fight there are waiting to finally start paying normally. You start bringing budgets to the executors - and everything will fly there at the front.
Mobilization is evidence that the army is defeated. And they invite everyone. Many do not understand this, but this is true: the regular army has been destroyed in these six months - and now the reserve is being called up.
I myself was a contract soldier, even we had poor training. There are only some photo reports from the exercises - but according to the results at the front, it turned out that these were all Potemkin villages.
Even we had very big losses. And now it's just a crowd of people who were given uniforms. And the old one - some kind of zero years. And what will they influence there at the forefront? They just die in vain. These are just civilians who once served.
Those who are now in Ukraine just want to go home. They want to be replaced - so that at least someone comes to replace them. Even those of my colleagues who supported this war wanted to go home: “You need to at least rest at home for a month or two, and then return and finish off the fascist scum.”
Our brigade was near Kyiv. As soon as we were taken out of there in the spring, I immediately wrote a refusal. And as soon as he came from Ukraine, he immediately quit. Didn't want to be a part of it. But I'm still in the reserve: after the dismissal, I got registered. I'm registered. I'm waiting for the agenda - I don't know if it will be or not. Not yet. In fact, I live in the city of Ulan-Ude, but my place of registration is different. Also, I recently changed my phone number. Maybe they called me on the old one, but I don't know.
Relatives of the wife received summons. An acquaintance who recently quit his contract service has also been taken away now.
He says that they take a lot of drivers. I myself heard that mostly artillerymen are called up: a friend in the reserve from his village received a call that "you have received a summons." And when he arrived, they told him: “That's all, we fulfilled the plan. You are free".
An acquaintance who was mobilized should go there in two weeks. Basically, he is against war. But he treats like that... I don't understand him. “Well, they called, why, I’ll go.” Humbly so. I don't like it - I tried to convince him. But he replies: “What, ten to sit, or what? I'd rather help the boys." This phrase is standard - “you need to help the boys” ... All the normal boys have already left there.
I wondered where this submissiveness came from. It seems like you are trying to explain to people that Russia is the aggressor, Putin is the aggressor. That the “defense of the Motherland” in a foreign country, when cities are destroyed, all looks somehow strange. That Ukraine did not attack first - that Russia attacked. But they have one argument: “Well, if only NATO would come! And in general, crests are Bandera people. That's it. I don't know where it all comes from in their heads.
I say: “Well, if NATO came, would it make life worse for you? And now you're, like, doing well?" They don’t even have any real arguments why NATO is bad, they just repeat some Kiselev and Solovyov mantras in response to me.
That "Russia was forced to launch this preemptive strike, otherwise NATO would have come close to our borders."
And when I tell them what I saw there in Ukraine, they don't understand it. Well, believe the official media. They say: “Ukrainians are bombing themselves”, “and if someone was hurt by Russian weapons, then this is by accident.”
But I didn't tell them the details. Just in case. If I tell you, then in general terms. Sometimes I advise: "Go to Mongolia better." Three hours drive from Ulan-Ude to the border.
I have never had any illusions about Putin's power. In 2014, we squeezed out Crimea and Donbass - it is clear that this was aggression. That's how I treated it. And under the contract he went to serve, just to get a job: I didn’t think that any more wars of conquest would begin. We have a lot of units, half the city serves: at eight in the morning they go to the unit, at six in the evening they go home - as usual.
We went to Ukraine in January - and really everyone thought that it was just for exercises. I only suspected that this was also such a game of muscles - in front of Zelensky. Show of strength. But I did not think that there would be a full-fledged invasion. And on February 22, we were told that "we will come in." That “everything is fine there” and we will be “greeted with flowers” there. We were accompanied by riot police with batons and shields - that is, apparently, they were counting on just some kind of rallies, which the riot police would disperse. And then they sailed: the war began. Real.
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I saw the incompetence of the Russian army there. We were just driving forward - and we were constantly bombed. Then we stood near Kyiv, dug in - and we were bombed again. That's the whole war.
Civilians ran away from us: we went into empty villages. The remaining families hung white flags and did not leave the house. In Buzova (near Kyiv) I saw a family with a child who was ill. His mother was crying - I saw it myself - and said that she could not call an ambulance. Because of the war, of course. The child was very sick. He was five years old. A couple of days later I found out that he had died. It turns out he died because of us. Because we got there.
Read also on ForumDaily:
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