NewsUkraine's unprepared recruits face dire battlefield threats

Ukraine's unprepared recruits face dire battlefield threats

Concerns about conscript training
Concerns about conscript training
Images source: © East News | AA/ABACA

11:43 AM EDT, June 2, 2024

In May, a revised military conscription law went into effect in Ukraine, resulting in the army gaining new soldiers. Commanders, in an interview with the "Washington Post," have expressed serious concerns about the level of training. "We had guys who didn't even know how to disassemble and reassemble a weapon," said one military officer. Another admits that if a sudden breakthrough occurs, the new recruits will not stand much chance on the battlefield.

Ukraine is mobilizing new soldiers in the face of intensified Russian attacks. However, commanders have numerous concerns. They have long complained about the unsatisfactory training of new conscripts.

Regardless of where the new forces come from—whether newly mobilized or prisoners—Ukrainian commanders say that they sometimes have to teach them basic skills for weeks due to insufficient training.

"We had people who didn't even know how to disassemble and reassemble a weapon," said one soldier from the 93rd Mechanized Brigade in an interview with the "Washington Post."

In the first week, the military ensures that new conscripts fire at least one crate of ammunition daily before moving on to more challenging tasks. The Ukrainian army is preparing them for potential battles near the town of Chasiv Yar in the Donetsk region.

"If, God forbid, there is a breakthrough near Chasiv Yar and we get new infantry that doesn't know the basics, they will be sent there just to die," say the military officers.

Terrible training conditions

The "Washington Post" points out that this underscores the tragic situation Kyiv has found itself in more than two years after Russia's full-scale invasion. According to soldiers, Moscow can count on success because the Ukrainians do not have enough soldiers to defend against continuous attacks. At the same time, mobilization efforts are not going well.

There is also a problem with individuals who have been in the army since the beginning of the Russian invasion but were far from the battlefield. The "Washington Post" describes a case of a conscript who was on guard duty on a bridge in the southern Odesa region. However, he was moved to the Donetsk region at the end of April. The military admitted he was not prepared.

Soldiers admit that conditions in training centers are so poor that many learn to fight essentially only on the front lines. Among other issues, there is a shortage of ammunition on the training grounds. One commander admitted that they received only 20 bullets per person.

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