Recruits were summoned as part of the partial mobilisation announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin after a decisive counter-offensive by the Ukrainian military. But in new footage, before soldiers are shipped off, a commander admitted there is not enough equipment. Detailing what recruits must take, she said: “Sleeping bags, definitely. You’ll be sleeping where necessary. Plus tourist mats or similar.”
A soldier then asked: “So no one’s going to give us any of that?”
She continued: “This must all be yours, boys! You were given a uniform, armour, and everything that is related to the military.
“Everything else, no. We were equipping our men ourselves.
“Medicines are the same. Tourniquets! I don’t have enough tourniquets for all of you.
READ MORE: US issues Vladimir Putin with warning if Russia uses nuclear weapons
“Take the car medkits, get tourniquets from them.
“Ask girlfriends, wives, mothers for women’s pads. The cheapest women’s pads plus tampons.
“Do you know what the tampons are for? Gunshot, you plug it in, it starts to swell and pushed the walls.
“Men, I know this from Chechnya. If possible, take a bit of everything.”
Thousands of Russians have fled into Mongolia across its northern frontier in a bid to evade conscription to Ukraine, putting further pressure on the government in Ulaanbaatar and its efforts to distance itself from the conflict.
Russians were forced to queue for hours at the border crossing at Kyakhta in the ethnic Mongol province of Buryatia, but said they had little choice after Putin announced a “partial mobilisation” of 300,000 soldiers aimed at repelling a counter-offensive in Russian-occupied Ukraine.
“My country has started partial mobilisation and I think it is negatively affecting society,” said one. “We waited a very long time at the Russian side of the border: about 16 hours.”
Suren Bat-Tur, the owner of a guesthouse in the capital Ulaanbaatar that normally caters to backpackers, has also been helping his friends in Buryatia to escape the draft.
‘Something needs to be done!’ Putin allies mortified by old soldiers [INSIGHT]
Ukraine annexation vote fuels intense fighting [ANALYSIS]
Russians resist Putin’s draft as recruitment offices burn [VIDEO]
The guesthouse has filled up with Russians since Putin’s mobilisation order, and Bat-Tur said he has already turned away dozens of requests for beds.
“I wanted to help them, it has been very difficult,” said Bat-Tur. “Now they are looking for work in construction or agriculture so they have something to do while they are here.”
One newly-arrived guest, who identified himself as Aleksey, said he crossed into Mongolia last weekend, leaving behind his wife and three children. He arrived at the border late at night on a tourist bus packed with other young Russians.
“There were a lot of young people, a lot of people trying to get away from Putin,” he said.