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Independent military history author and researcher. Also at
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Sep 26 23 tweets 4 min read
1/ More evidence has emerged of Russian soldiers systematically being robbed and mistreated by the army's notoriously corrupt military police. Accounts tell of MPs stealing from, fining, jailing, assaulting and even enslaving soldiers, sometimes with apparent racist intent. ⬇️ Image 2/ An account from a mobilised soldier in the second line of the Russian defences tells of how the military police are targeting men for trivial or invented offences. The anonymous account is published on the 'Alex Carrier' Telegram channel. His informant writes:
Sep 26 13 tweets 3 min read
1/ Russia's Ground Forces Combat Training Centre – reportedly the country's only fully modern military training base – has been seriously hampered by repeated episodes of corruption and money laundering, as well as the impact of Western sanctions. ⬇️ Image 2/ The facility at Mulino, in the Nizhny Novgorod region, was the controversial focus of a project to equip it by the German company Rheinmetall. The @kamilkazani thread below highlights a now-deleted page from the company's website:
Sep 25 10 tweets 2 min read
1/ Russia is creating new reconnaissance and assault brigades to defeat Ukrainian fortifications in offensive operations. The new units will be equipped with armoured vehicles and trained in close-quarters fighting and the use of drones for reconnaissance. ⬇️ Image 2/ The pro-government newspaper Izvestia reports that the new units are "designed to storm fortifications and conduct reconnaissance in the immediate rear of the enemy." They will be incorporated into combined arms armies and a newly formed army corps.
Sep 25 11 tweets 2 min read
1/ An incident last week in which a military policeman was filmed extorting Russian soldiers in a UAZ-452 van was reportedly just the tip of the iceberg. Soldiers are complaining that they are systematically being robbed in occupied southern Ukraine. ⬇️
2/ Commenting on the video, the Wagner-affiliated Grey Zone blog says that such incidents happen "several times a week" in the occupied Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions. Military police are reportedly stealing aid supplies, quadcopters and cars for their own use or to resell.
Sep 24 18 tweets 4 min read
1/ Ukrainian and Russian sources have confirmed that Wagner fighters have returned to fighting in Ukraine, although in small numbers and apparently in disjointed groups. This may reflect individual former Wagnerites or small units joining the Russian MOD's forces. ⬇️ Image 2/ The Wagner-affiliated Grey Zone Telegram channel, which appears to represent those still loyal to the late Yevgeny Prigozin, says that a force of those who refused to join the march on Moscow has been recruited by Wagner's former personnel director.
Sep 23 9 tweets 2 min read
1/ The Russian National Guard (Rosgvardiya) is reported to have come under suspicion as a possible accomplice of Yevgeny Prigozhin's mutiny, following some strange occurrences involving the Wagner Group's weapons. ⬇️ Image 2/ The VChK-OGPU Telegram channel reports that although nobody has been charged over the mutiny, "the FSB continues to actively search for high officials who may have been involved in the June "march of justice", organised by the head of PMC Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin."
Sep 22 39 tweets 7 min read
1/ Mobilised Russians fighting in Ukraine are finding that they're not being allowed to go on leave, even after a year of active service, despite the promises of Vladimir Putin. Relatives are complaining with little success, while the men face deteriorating health. ⬇️ Image 2/ In his original 21 September 2022 announcement of mobilisation, Putin stated that the mobilised would get two months' leave every six months. Soldiers have to petition their commanders for leave, but are commonly finding they're not being given permission.
Sep 22 23 tweets 5 min read
1/ Wounded Russian soldiers and their relatives say they are being sent back into battle without being treated, and in some cases are not paid injury compensation or even their regular salaries. It's been blamed on a shortage of frontline manpower. Some are choosing to flee. ⬇️ Image 2/ Radio Free Europe reports on several such cases. Nikolai from the 27th Separate Guards Motor Rifle Brigade has been sent back to the front line despite being unable to walk without painkillers due to his legs being damaged by shrapnel. His mother is appealing to prosecutors.
Sep 21 18 tweets 3 min read
1/ A new analysis has found that mobilised Russians who have been sent to Ukraine have only survived, on average, for 4.5 months before being killed. One in five of the mobilised has not survived longer than eight weeks. ⬇️ Image 2/ A joint investigation by Important Stories and the Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) has analysed the reported deaths of thousands of mobilised Russians. They found that almost every region of Russia has sustained fatalities, with the youngest just 19 and the oldest aged 62.
Sep 21 18 tweets 5 min read
1/ In another indication that a fresh wave of mobilisation may be coming, companies in Moscow are seeking to recruit an unprecedented number of specialists in managing military and mobilisation records – twice the peak number recorded during the last mobilisation. ⬇️ Image 3/ The Moscow-based news website MSK1 reports that there has been a record surge in adverts from employers to fill these roles. Before the war in Ukraine, the number of such vacancies on job search websites was only 10-16 per month.
Sep 20 8 tweets 2 min read
1/ Mobilised Russians say that their commanders ordered them into an assault despite their injuries and then abandoned them under heavy Ukrainian fire. After refusing, they were imprisoned by their own side in a notorious torture facility in north-eastern Ukraine. ⬇️ Image 2/ ASTRA reports the account of Evgeny P., as told to his wife Evgeniya on 18 September. He says that while fighting with the 27th Separate Guards Motor Rifle Brigade near Bakhmut in May, he suffered a shrapnel wound and was sent to hospital. However, he was not treated.
Sep 19 8 tweets 3 min read
1/ A Russian colonel arrested earlier this year for stealing seven T-90 tank engines appears to have been even more industrious than first realised: investigators have now reportedly linked him to the theft of 21 tank engines, worth tens of millions of rubles. ⬇️

V92C2 engine
V-84 AMS engine
UMD-20 engine
2/ In April 2023, the Russian media reported on the case of Colonel Alexander Denisov, then the head of the Southern Military District's technical support department for the armoured vehicle service.
Sep 19 9 tweets 3 min read
1/ A former convict and ex-Wagnerite has started his own "Taxi Wagner" service in Russia's Novosibirsk region. Valery Bogdanov says that he is doing "a noble cause for the local residents". ⬇️ Image 2/ Bogdanov has started a Wagner-themed taxi service in the town of Bolotnoye, about 128 km north-east of the Siberian city of Novosibirsk. So far it only has one car, but he says business is good and plans to expand. Image
Sep 18 7 tweets 2 min read
1/ The Russian government has ordered 230,000 certificates for family members of deceased soldiers – a vast increase from the 23,716 it ordered in May 2023 and 5,777 in 2022. It likely illustrates the scale of the casualties it anticipates as the Ukraine war continues. ⬇️ Image 2/ Russia's Ministry of Labour and Social Protection (Mintrud) has listed an order for nearly a million certificates on the Russian government's procurement portal. As well as 230,000 for family members of the deceased, the order includes 757,305 combat veterans' certificates.
Sep 18 28 tweets 5 min read
1/ Russian soldiers say hundreds of their number are being killed trying to retake newly liberated Andriivka. Even artillerymen are being sent in as infantry in 'meat assaults', "literally [armed] with shovels" and without artillery support. ⬇️
2/ The Russian Army's 94th regiment is said to be taking the brunt of the fighting as Ukrainian forces advance south of Bakhmut. The wife of one soldier serving with the regiment, a man called Denis, says they are suffering huge casualties. Image
Sep 18 8 tweets 2 min read
1/ A pregnant woman has sentenced to six years in jail in Russia for evading mobilisation, in the first case of its kind. Despite her pregnancy, she was convicted for failing to appear when she was summoned to her unit. ⬇️ Image 2/ The Russian newspaper Kommersant reports that Corporal Madina Kabaleva, from the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic, was convicted by a court in the Russian Army's Southern Military District for "failure to appear for service without good reason during the period of mobilisation".
Sep 17 17 tweets 4 min read
1/ Relatives of mobilised Russians say that their men are being "forced to defend themselves not only from the enemy, but also from their own side who should be helping, not killing them." They say that medical and logistical troops are being sent to fight on the front line. ⬇️ 2/ The relatives say in a pair of videos that their men are from Barnaul and Slavgorod in the Altai Krai region, serving in the 1307th and 1442nd Motorised Rifle Regiments and the 89nd Tank Regiment. They appeal to Vladimir Putin to help their men and punish their commanders.
Sep 16 16 tweets 5 min read
1/ A former head of procurement of the Russian Ministry of Defence has been sentenced to nine years' imprisonment for accepting 15 million rubles ($154,950) in bribes. It's the latest in an interlinked series of corruption scandals in the Russian military procurement system. ⬇️ Image 2/ The newspaper Kommersant reports that Lt Col Vladislav Gukov, formerly the head of a division of the Russian MOD's procurement department, has been sent to a strict regime (maximum security) prison colony, fined 45.9 million rubles ($474,147), and stripped of his medals.
Sep 15 15 tweets 4 min read
1/ Former Wagner Group fighters are finding, to their dismay, that few employers want to hire them; they can't even get jobs at Burger King. "They were promised a life with a clean slate and [the authorities] failed to fulfil their promises," a relative complains. ⬇️ Image 2/ The Russian independent news outlet 'We can explain' (MO) reports that Wagner fighters, sent 'on vacation' after the Prigozhin mutiny in June, are finding it difficult to get new jobs after the Wagner Group's expulsion from the war in Ukraine.
Sep 14 8 tweets 2 min read
1/ General Sergei Surovikin has somewhat unexpectedly reappeared in Algeria. A photograph published today shows him in civilian clothes addressing Algerian officials, apparently at the Algerian Ministry of Defence. ⬇️ Image 2/ The VChK-OGPU Telegram channel reports that "Surovikin was in civilian clothes at all meetings, which confirms his dismissal from the ranks of the Russian Armed Forces." He was recently reported to have been found a new position.
Sep 14 16 tweets 5 min read
1/ Here's a good trivia question: the apparent destruction by Ukraine of the Kilo-class submarine 'Rostov-on-Don' marks only the second time since World War II that a submarine has been confirmed lost due to enemy action in wartime. What was the first? Read on to find out. ⬇️ Image 2/ Many submarines have been lost through accidents since the end of World War II. The United States lost 4, the USSR and Russia lost 18, and other countries lost a handful of vessels as well. But only one other country definitely lost one due to enemy action: Argentina.