It is not common ground that the latest batch of Russian recruits often sent to Ukraine will undergo little or no training to commit atrocities and otherwise behave badly once in that neighboring country. But Russians who live near their gathering sites say it was bad news long before they crossed the border.
Residents of two such villages, Mulino in Nizhny Novgorod Oblast and Totskoye-2 in Orenburg Oblast, told the Holod news agency that these “soldiers” regularly appear drunk on the streets, insult local women and leave behind “mountains of rubbish”. an indication of their qualities before shipment (holod.media/2022/08/17/lyudej-nabirayut-na-myaso/).
Soldiers often behave badly under the stress and shock of battle, but what this report shows is that Russian officials were in a position to know and may even have encouraged the bad behavior of these new recruits and thus bear additional responsibility for all the crimes that soldiers commit in Ukraine. .
And at the same time, these reports suggest that the rot within the Russian military runs far deeper than even Ukrainian victims and observers have told it, that it is endemic to Russian military culture, and that the eradicating is going to take more than just defeating the Russian army on the ground.