Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Moscow’s Use of Criminals in Russian Military Undermining Unit Cohesion and Performance, Soldiers Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Aug. 22 – A major cause for the poor performance of the Russian army in Ukraine is Moscow’s decision to use criminals in the ranks has destroyed unit cohesion because professional soldiers aren’t happy about having to work with people they don’t trust who often are getting more money than they are, soldiers tell Novaya gazeta.

            In order not to declare a general mobilization, the Russian government is allowing criminals to join the ranks often at high pay and with a promise that their sentences will be reduced or even cancelled. Most receive little training and don’t fit in well with professional soldiers who resent them (novayagazeta.eu/articles/2022/08/22/vory-moshenniki-bandity-razboiniki-ubiitsy-dobro-pozhalovat).

            Because the professionals can’t count on the criminals to perform, they don’t trust them and units don’t function as they should, soldiers tell the paper – yet another example of an effort by the Kremlin to take a shortcut that is now blowing up in its face as Russian units collapse in the face of Ukrainian advances.

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