“Do you know how to use puttees?” Specifics of “national” mobilization
Has everyone already heard the joke by Valery Zaluzhny, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine – “We’ve done away with the Russian professional army, it’s time to do away with their amateur army”? Watching the footage of Russian “mobilliziaki” (contemptuous and ironic of mobilized soldiers), Ukrainians assume that the Russian command expects the Armed Forces of Ukraine to die of laughter.
But what is funny on the Ukrainian side of the front line is rather horrifying on this side. This, for example, is what a well-known blogger Dmitry Chernyshev is trying to convey about mobilization.
People who did not serve in the Soviet and Russian armies think that mobilization is all about rounding up recruits and taking them to the front line. But every soldier has to be put down for clothing and money allowances. Food must be purchased – people are used to eating, and some of them are used to having even several meals a day. People need beds and mattresses. Getting everyone into uniforms from warehouses is only half the job. There are gas masks, old type soldier’s rucksacks and rotten ration packs in the warehouses. Combat boots, by the way, will soon run out and they’ll get kersey boots from bins of the Motherland. Do you know how to use puttees?
But in Russian warehouses there are no normal first-aid kits, no tourniquets, no armor vests, no load-bearing vests, no battlefield communication equipment, no sights, no thermal imagers, no protective goggles, no good helmets (a Russian helmet is crumpled by a punch), no headphones, no batteries, no tactical backpacks, no sleeping bags, no thermoses, no knee pads, no gloves. And closer to the front lines there is no hot food or no warm place to sleep. Soldiers will be housed in gymnasiums and dormitories which will be destroyed by Ukrainian artillery at night.
But that’s not even what’s scary. There are almost no professional servicemen left in the Russian army – no normal sergeants, no combat commanders. And the crowd of recruits armed with rusty weapons will be led by a frightened lieutenant, who received his shoulder-boards at the military department of his educational institution. Who knows nothing about the war. And the recruits who promised to trample Ukrainians with their feet, will rapidly begin to turn into cannon fodder. If the Ukrainian army, even without Western support (which began much later), was able to grind down the Russian professional army, just imagine what it would do to the mobilized.
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