Sergei's Training Mainly Involved Picking Up Sticks: Suddenly, He Was Sent to the Front Lines

Written by Henrik Rothen

Dec.02 - 2023 11:12 AM CET

Suddenly, He Was Sent to the Front Lines.

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A Russian soldier, identified as Sergei, shared his experience of receiving minimal military training before being sent to fight in Ukraine.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Sergei, now a prisoner of war, revealed that his preparation for combat was far from adequate. He joined the army in October, lured by the promise of higher pay than his factory job, but his family has yet to receive any of the promised salary.

Inadequate Training for War

Sergei's training mostly consisted of menial tasks like picking up sticks and theoretical first aid lessons. His combat preparation was limited to firing just two magazines' worth of ammunition from an assault rifle. He had expected to be driving a truck in Ukraine, not being on the front line.

Sent to the Frontline

Despite his lack of training, Sergei was sent to attack a tree line held by Ukrainian forces north of Avdiivka. His unit was pushed back, and he was soon injured. In late November, he was captured by Ukrainian forces, expressing relief at being taken prisoner and describing the fighting as "an animal nightmare."

Russia's Offensive in Avdiivka

Russia's major assault on Avdiivka in October, following Ukraine's recapture of the town in September, has been marked by significant Russian losses. Analysts report that Russia has seen no major breakthroughs in the area, despite slowly advancing and escalating attacks.

The Plight of Russian Soldiers

Other Russian POWs captured at Avdiivka also reported heavy losses and minimal training. This trend of undertrained Russian troops being sent to Ukraine is degrading even elite Russian units and increasing their losses, as noted by the UK Ministry of Defence. Experts suggest that Russia often treats its soldiers as expendable in its strategy to overwhelm Ukrainian forces.

Sergei's story is a stark reminder of the challenges faced by many Russian soldiers, who are often inadequately trained and prepared for the realities of war.