Russian soldiers are being sent to Ukraine without knowing how to operate machines gun and with less than a week's training under their belt, one fighter has claimed.
The soldier, known only as 'Ivan' to protect his identity, said he had only received five days' training before being shipped off to the battlefield, The Moscow Times reports.
According to Russia's Defence Ministry website, anyone who signs up to fight with the Russian army must complete four weeks of combined arms training, taking a total of 240 hours.
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By Russian law, soldiers also cannot be sent into combat unless they have at least four months' training.
But this appears not to be the case as Ivan revealed the soldiers didn't have the basic skills they needed to fight when they were sent to Ukraine.
Ivan, 31, who signed a three-month contract with the Defense Ministry in April, said the training was 'not enough'.
He told the Moscow Times: "When the special military operation started — although in fact, it is a war — I took it as a personal tragedy. I told myself that I wanted to go there and no one would stop me. I'm a patriot."
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Upon signing the contract he was transferred to a military base in Belgorod, and within two weeks, he was on the frontlines.
"After all the medical check-ups, they asked me if I was ready to go to the military base the day after tomorrow," he continued.
"They trained us for five days, we waited for another five days for a force rotation and then we went to [our] positions."
Ivan said the troops undertook informal training exercises while waiting to be deployed, practicing combat skills, storming buildings and 'all-round defence' from 10am until 7pm.
He added: "Of course, it was not enough. There was a soldier in our company who didn't know how a machine gun works. So I taught that guy how to disassemble and assemble a machine gun.
"I wouldn't want to be next to him in battle. How can you fight like that?"
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This is the latest in a series of clues that Putin is becoming desperate in his bid to quash Ukraine's resistance to his invasion.
Some estimates say he's lost as many as 50,000 soldiers in Ukraine since the war began in February this year.
Independent military analyst said the lack of training means men are being put 'on a direct path to a body bag'.
"A week [of training] is nothing — for a soldier, it is a direct path to a hospital or a body bag," Ivan told The Moscow Times on Thursday (22 July).
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