Russian troops stationed in the town of Dolbino near the Ukrainian border have been living in “nightmare” conditions, sleeping on cramped floors and going without military food rations for days, according to social media reports and rights advocates interviewed by The Moscow Times.
The soldiers from the Taman and Kantemirovskaya Divisions are stationed in the town of Dolbino 30 kilometers from the Ukrainian border. They have gone without food rations and proper accommodation for the last five days, with soldiers forced to pay out-of-pocket for supplies.
Photos circulating on Russian social media platform VK show dozens of soldiers sleeping on the floor of a tiled room.
The conditions were first noticed after local residents reported an influx of soldiers and conscripts who claimed they had been left at the train station by military officers.
Locals reported providing conscripts with food and water after some recruits claimed to have run out of money.
“We are not sure why, but there was clearly a violation of usual practice,” Svetlana Golub, the head of the Soldiers' Mothers Committee, an NGO that advocates for soldiers’ rights, told The Moscow Times on Monday.
Speaking by phone, Golub said the “nightmare” conditions “were inappropriate, however an investigation is being carried out and now things have been resolved.”
The accounts come just days after locals in Belarus, where Russia has stationed troops indefinitely following joint military drills, complained of Russian soldiers drinking excessively, damaging roads with heavy military equipment and leaving trash in their wake.
Russia has massed an estimated 150,000 troops near Ukraine's borders in recent weeks, with escalating tensions and rounds of failed peace talks raising fears that Russia is planning an invasion of its pro-Western neighbor.