London: Pictures show how Russian President Vladimir Putin has resorted to sending “Dad’s Army” of aging reservists to the Ukrainian front lines, media reports.
Putin ordered the mobilization of 300,000 extra troops last week in a bid to reverse the fate of his failed invasion, in a move that has scared thousands who have fled the country, the Daily Mail reported
But other hardy civilians have decided to join the military effort despite their age, health and limited training to boost troop numbers following Kyiv’s stunning counter-offensive, the Daily Mail reported.
In Sevastopol, Crimea, silver-haired and wrinkled recruits lined up in their uniforms for a ceremony before taking a much-needed cigarette break and then making their way to the front line, the Daily Mail reported.
The images, taken on Tuesday less than a week after Putin’s order, show how rushed the mobilization has been compared to the six-month minimum training usually provided.
“Although the exact numbers are unclear, they likely exceed the size of the total invasion force that Russia sent in February 2022.
“The better-off and the well-educated are too many among those trying to leave Russia. Combined with these reservists being mobilized, the domestic economic impact of reduced labor availability and accelerating brain drain is likely to become increasingly significant.”
Those sent to war were already bemoaning outdated equipment and poor morale just weeks after the war broke out, a New York Times investigation claims.
Unauthorized phone calls made by soldiers to their families in March via shared cell phones between units near Bucha were intercepted by Ukraine and translated by the Times.
Many soldiers revealed that the Kremlin had lied about the purpose of the war, showing an early insight into the reality on the ground.
A man named Sergei told his girlfriend: “Some guys took armor off the corpses of Ukrainians and took it for themselves. Their NATO armor is better than ours.
The dire situation for the troops led to Putin’s mobilization order, which came as Ukrainian forces suffered heavy setbacks on the Moscow battlefield.
The mass exodus created miles-long queues for days at some borders, and local Russian authorities in one area along the border with Georgia said they would begin providing food, water, warming stations and other assistance to those at queue, the Daily Mail reported.