The Committee of Soldiers’ Mother, a Russian charity, were sent shocking photos by local residents of troops abandoned at the Dolbino railway station. Dolbino is a small village in the Belgorod Oblast, close to Ukraine. Over 100 troops from the 2nd Motorized Rifle Division are pictured crammed into a waiting room, with no facilities to accommodate them.
An unknown number of military officers who are resigning from duty, demoralized, or disgusted, or simply fed up by the conditions, physical and psychological, they are forced to serve in. While the problem of hazing conscripts remains a stubborn and much-documented problem in Russia’s armed forces, the issue of officers resigning in protest is less well-known.
According to the locals, the soldiers had been at the station for five days without rations and were forced to fend for themselves. The military personnel are apparently a mixture of conscripts and contracted soldiers. Locals said many had already run out of money to buy food and no one knew when they might be moved on.
The locals in Belarus know the exercises with Russian soldiers bring heaving drinking, fighting, and sometimes crime. Although the local economy does well when they are there, it is really not worth it since the overhead and aggravation is just too costly.
The Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers is a famous charity that provides help to soldiers and their families. The charity was set up in 1989 at a time when glasnost and perestroika had shed greater light on the abuses within the Soviet military. It has continued to campaign for the rights of soldiers and their families ever since and is a well-respected organisation within Russia
“Commanders consider you insignificant at best: ‘Hey you, lieutenant,’ as if I was not an officer,” he said. “It seems to me that this is due to their desire to assert themselves, because they were probably mercilessly rotted in their first years of service.”
A majority (66 percent) have a positive or very positive view of Ukraine. This is the age group from which most of the rank and file of Russia’s army comes from. They see nothing wrong with the Ukrainians and do not view them as threats.
In further signs of cracking morale and a breakdown in military discipline, reports have emerged of excessive drinking among Russian soldiers. Around 30,000 troops have been sent to Belarus to take part in military drills.
“After a month of service, I realized there was no medicine here, and all my activity was reduced to working with weapons and personnel, I filed a letter of resignation, because I want to treat people and not just do drills.”
Russian soldier morale has always been low since leadership spends all the money on new toys. There is a lack of respect for new recruits, gear goes missing as officers sell anything they can get their hands on to make up for the low pay.