There have been ample reports about Russia needing more trained soldiers for the war in Ukraine. A new report seems to confirm that reality – and that war over the longterm won’t be sustainable. A Russian army recruit told The Moscow Times that he was only given five days of training before he was sent to the frontlines of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
A 31-year-old recruit identified only as Ivan said he was given a medical checkup at a Russian military base, and then “They trained us for five days, we waited for another five days for a force rotation and then we went to [combat] positions.”
His full name was not published as he asked for anonymity for his safety, The Moscow Times said.
Five days of training is extremely short compared to Western militaries. Basic combat training in the US Army is ten weeks, after which soldiers then get more, specialized training. Other NATO armies work in similar timeframes.
In the Moscow Times interview, Ivan said soldiers he was with were unprepared.
“There was a soldier in our company who didn’t know how a machine gun works. So I taught that guy how to disassemble and assemble a machine gun. I wouldn’t want to be next to him in battle. How can you fight like that?”
Russia describes its invasion as a “special military operation” rather than a war. President Vladimir Putin has told Russians that its purpose is to save the Ukrainian people from Nazis, a claim that has long been debunked.
Ivan told The Moscow Times that he signed up in April as he saw it as his duty.
“When the special military operation started — although in fact, it is a war — I took it as a personal tragedy. I told myself that I wanted to go there and no one would stop me. I’m a patriot.”
Ivan said that he was wounded in combat by shrapnel and sent home to Moscow to recover.
Russia made less progress in Ukraine than its intelligence expected, and retreated to focus to the east amid high troop and general losses.
Captured Russian soldiers said earlier in the invasion they had not expected to be deployed to a fight, and were not told the truth of why they were deployed.
The BBC reported that training for new recruits, who are often sent to the front, lasts three to seven days.
Sinéad Baker is a News Reporter based in Business Insider’s London bureau. Sinéad most often covers breaking news, US politics, and global censorship. She has covered developments within the Trump administration, written about terrorist attacks in real time around the world, and delved into the aftermath of aviation disasters. This first appeared in Insider.