Russian conscripts with no training have already been thrown on to the frontlines in Ukraine, Kyiv’s generals have said.
Drafted civilians are being used to plug holes in Russian units that have been mauled in more-than seven months of fighting, the Ukrainian general staff said, which will badly affect their morale, ‘psychological state’ and combat performance.
Meanwhile British intelligence said none of the tens of thousands of conscripts called up so far are likely to receive good training, as most of Russia’s instructors have been sent away to fight.
‘Drafted troops will deploy to the front line with minimal relevant preparation [and] are likely to suffer a high attrition rate’, the Ministry of Defence said.
Russian men load on to buses as they are shipped off to Ukraine, with Kyiv claiming they are being thrown on to the frontlines with no training
A woman holds a child up to the window of as bus as she waves goodbye to her partner, who has been conscripted to fight in Ukraine
A woman weeps after waving goodbye to her loved ones, who are off to fight on the Ukrainian frontline after being drafted by Putin
Conscripted men arrive at a Russian military base and immediately tell their commander to ‘go f*** yourself’ when ordered to fall into two ranks
It comes as Ukraine continues to press its advance in the eastern Donbas region, with footage showing a massive artillery barrage on the town of Zelena Dolyna.
That town is located 10 miles to the north of the Russian stronghold of Lyman, which Ukraine is trying to capture.
Taking it would allow Ukraine to advance further into the Luhansk region – one of the key objectives of Putin’s invasion – and is a key checkpoint along the road to the cities of Lysychansk and Severodonetsk.
Russia spent months capturing those two cities over the summer, making them a prime target for future Ukrainian counter-attacks.
Vladimir Putin last week gave the order to begin conscripting men into the Russian military after his army suffered heavy casualties in the war.
Kyiv says some 57,000 Russian troops have died fighting in the war so far, while Western intelligence puts that figure lower – up to 25,000 dead and 60,000 wounded, according to an August estimate.
Russia claims to have lost around 6,000 men, but has officially called up 300,000 reservists – giving proof to the lie. Some reports have suggested the actual number being called up could be in excess of 1million.
What footage has emerged of the Russian reinforcements has done little to suggest they will turn the tide of the war in Moscow’s favour.
Tearful Russian villagers wave goodbye to their loved ones as they are conscripted into the army and sent to fight in Ukraine
A woman touches hands with her partner through the window of a bus as he leaves for Ukraine
A woman hugs one of her loved ones goodbye as he is shipped off to the battlefields of Ukraine, having been conscripted into the military
Multiple videos have emerged of men getting drop-dead drunk as they load on to buses, apparently waiting to be transported east to the battlefields.
Others have showed them arriving at training camps and either arguing with instructors or refusing to carry out orders.
In one such piece of footage from the weekend, a drill instructor can be heard telling a group to ‘fall into two ranks’ as they unload from a military transport.
‘Go f*** yourself with your two ranks,’ one of the men yells back.
And yet more footage has suggested that even those recruits who do want to join the fight and manage to get decent training won’t be armed for the fight.
Video shows a newly-recruited tank crew complaining about the state of their assault rifles in Russian.
The guns – identified as AKM machine-guns – are badly rusted, and it is not clear whether or not they still work.
‘It’s the tank boys who were given this c**p,’ says one voice. ‘They said: “You’ve got tanks, so don’t give a f*** about the Kalashnikovs”.
‘F***** up, I’m f****** up…. I won’t comment on anything…. I’m shocked.’
Vladimir Putin (pictured today with Belarus dictator Lukashenko) gave the order to begin conscripting men into the military last week
Ukrainian civilians are trained in battle as the country prepares for an influx of conscripted Russian soldiers that Putin hopes will alter the course of the war
Russia is now more than seven months into what was intended to be a days-long war, and has wasted some of its best military assets for relatively little gain.
Putin’s men have captured the southern city of Mariupol and established a land bridge to the occupied peninsula.
But they failed in their early attempts to capture the capital Kyiv, and earlier this month were forced to withdraw from the northern Kharkiv region after a stunning Ukrainian counter-attack.
They have also failed in their mission of capturing Donetsk province – with around half of the region still in Ukrainian hands.
Luhansk province – which together with Donetsk makes up the Donbas – has fallen under Russian control, but is vulnerable to attack after the Kharkiv offensive.
Meanwhile pressure is building on Putin back at home, with protests erupting in multiple Russian regions after he announced the mobilisation.
A military commissar was shot at a recruitment centre in Irkutsk on Monday by a man angry that his friend had been drafted, while another man set himself on fire at a bus station in Ryazan after refusing to go to the frontlines.
Elsewhere, the Moscow stock exchange plunged 10 percent to its lowest point since Russia began its Ukraine offensive seven months ago .
The benchmark ruble-denominated Moex index sank 10.2 percent to 1,873.55 points in early afternoon trading, dropping below the 1,900 points mark for the first time since the February move into neighbouring Ukraine.