Dozens of recently mobilized Russian soldiers who surrendered to Ukrainian troops in eastern Ukraine’s Luhansk region have been decrying their conditions and lack of training according to unverified video footage circulating on social media.
At least 21 soldiers — most of them hailing from Moscow and the surrounding Moscow region — were captured by Ukrainian forces near the city of Svatove, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko announced in a Telegram post on Monday.
"[The Russians] are firing on their own [troops] …We sat [in the trenches] for three days and our own [comrades] were shelling us," one of the surrendering conscripts can be heard saying in a video posted by Gerashchenko.
"You will be cannon fodder," said another soldier addressing fellow mobilized Russians.
The prisoners of war said they were "sent to their rightful deaths" with no equipment or training and claimed their commanders abandoned them as soon as they came under enemy fire.
"We didn’t eat or drink for three days. We sat in the soaking trenches," one of the prisoners said of his experience on the frontlines.
The men in the video could be members of the 15th Regiment of the 27th Motor Rifle Brigade from Moscow and the Moscow region, which was deployed to the frontlines near Svatove in early October, according to the U.S. think tank The Institute for the Study of War.
The regiment, according to the think tank, consisted of newly mobilized servicemen who were sent into combat with no training.