The Russian military is now forcing persons with disabilities and cancer patients to serve in the army and join the war in Ukraine, according to a report.
Russian President Vladimir Putin last week announced a partial mobilization of Russian reservists to bolster the country’s army in Ukraine. While the Kremlin said that only people with combat experience would be conscripted, the report from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (UAF) suggests that the Russian army is also recruiting men without prior military experience, persons with disabilities, cancer patients, parents and older men to the army.
“In remote settlements of the Russian Federation, the entire male population of a certain age category is subject to mobilization, despite the lack of experience of military service in the past and combat experience,” the UAF General Staff wrote in the report published Wednesday. “There are rare cases of mobilization of persons with disabilities, cancer patients, parents with many children, and persons over sixty years of age. In some regions, the population is trying to resist such forced mobilization.”
The report also stated that conscripts who arrived at assembly points in the Belgorod and Rostov regions were forced to purchase winter uniforms and military equipment using their own money.
The UAF General Staff’s report follows a similar reporting from legal rights group Perviy Otdel that new recruits are being sent to the frontlines without any training or military exercises.
“We were officially told there would be no training before we are sent to the war zone,” a new Russia recruit said in a video posted on the Perviy Otdel Telegram channel. “On Sept. 29 we will be sent to Kherson. The regiment’s commanders confirmed it.”
In addition to the lack of training, other reports have emerged in recent days that highlight issues the Russian army is facing with equipment and accommodation.
In one clip shared on Twitter by Ukraine Reporter, a conscript said his unit was denied food, water, and the bathroom after they complained about their cramped conditions. In another, a Russian officer was seen telling draftees to buy tampons that they could use to plug bullet wounds.