The state of the Russian military

| November 27, 2022

Ukraine Russia Bucha massacre 01.jpg

From the beginning of Russia’s “special operation”, video, photographs, intercepts, and other information emerged related to the Russian military. The state of Russian equipment, manpower, performance, etc., as seen in these videos raised questions about “the second-best army in the world”.

The first video shows a collection of these images, and videos, detailing what the Russians brought with them into Ukraine. For example, bulletproof vests that did not have real “armor”, but material that made the vest look real. In another part of the video, a man punches a Russian combat helmet while causing damage to it. The narrator also addresses the corruption that shortchanges Russian military readiness.

The True State of Russian Army:

The next video mentions a report of a Russian unit that was deployed with “no food and no socks”. Ben Wallace, a UK Secretary of State for Defense, and veteran, described the situation as the Russians not appearing to care about their men… Sending thousands of men under these conditions just to leave them dead, injured, or left behind.

Russians deploy a unit with “no food and no socks”:

The next video addresses Russia’s reliance on conscripts to help fill its ranks and also talks about how military corruption impacts pay and quality of life. Corruption extends to the conscription process, which makes it possible for individuals with money to buy their way out of being conscripted.

The video uses soldier pay as an example of how military corruption impacts the conscripts. In the United States, pay is disbursed by disbursing staff. In Russia, the commander apparently has the direct ability to issue pay. However, commanders usually take a fraction of the money before paying the troops. Many soldiers end up with less pay than what the law says they should have. Many soldiers compensate for this shortfall by working a second job or by asking their family to send them needed items.

Russian Army Recruit Training:

Finally, this video covers many of the “hiccups” that impacted Russian performance in Ukraine. Neglected or improper preventative maintenance, the lack of an NCO corps, corruption impacted logistics, lack of decentralized command, poor leadership, etc., contributed to the challenges that the Russians faced carrying out their “special operation.”

What’s Wrong with Russia’s Military?

Category: Russia, Ukraine

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Their whole way of life is rife with corruption, why would their military be any different? Their navy sucks too. How many nukes accidents? The Kursk? I’m surprised the Ukrainians are performing as well.

A Proud Infidel®™

Could the Russkie Subs even launch an attack without blowing themselves to confetti like the Kursk?




Nice to see the sad state of the Russian army hasn’t changed since I last interacted with them way back in 2001 in Kosovo.
Highlights included:
-visiting one of their outposts and seeing a bunch of rabbits running around, was told they raised them to supplement their rations
-being told by my brigade commander that the Russian soldiers had, at the time, been without pay for 6 months
-Russians manning a check point shot and almost killed some Serb they claimed tried to run their checkpoint. Being that I was in the taskforce HQ, my friend in the task force 2 shop showed me the report. He was actually their weed dealer and had been fronting them with the promise they would pay him when they got paid. He came by and they wanted him to front them more, he refused so they beat him, and he ran off and got in his car and tried to flee, so the dumb asses opened fire.
I’m sure their was more, but that’s what I remember at the moment.

Prior Service

Kosovo 2000 here. Same Russian crap, different rotation. Firing over crowds. Drunk, running into a dump truck and dying with “Wodka” bottles rolling around the floor. Angry when we cleared them off the border to put LRS or NAVSOF on the Serb border. The KFOR Russian plans COL was straight out of central casting with red face, gold tooth, burly ape build with hairy forearms and a blue and white striped t Shirt. The Russian TOC LNO was a cadet who claimed everything was American propaganda and didn’t believe the Kruschev “we will bury you” incident had ever happened. And did I mention he reeked? The airborne MP BN’s LNO left soap and deodorant on his desk as a message.


Rabbit is delicious.

I can’t speak to the other issues you mention (other than seeing similar in our own military at different points), but keeping a colony of coneys to supplement unit rations makes a whole lot more sense than the millions spent on “pizza” and vegetarian MREs.

We bought goats, chickens, and sheep to feast with local CoGs in Iraq, and that worked well (the army cooks were less useful than the hunters and farmers in this). I would not be sad if we built livestock pens into the plans of future bases.


Another great example of socialist corruption. The leaders get all the money, food and nice stuff. The peons get the short end of the stick which they use to go into combat.

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Our left/libtard “woke” future:
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It’s funny the 1917 workers revolution ended up putting the people in a worse state then having a Tsar. And what’s worse is certain countries in the world followed the example. And the cherry on top is the liberal youth not acknowledging any of it.

A Proud Infidel®™

AND they FAIL to mention that many of the “Useful Idiots” who put the commies in power ended up in mass graves as soon as they were no longer deemed useful, but the commie college profs don’t want that fact ruining their rosy propaganda.


Specifically the fact that those college professors would very likely be among the first ones killed once they get what they want and they are clueless enough that they would be surprised by that little tidbit that they purposefully overlooked.

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From a former KGB dude:
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Last edited 1 year ago by Anonymous
George V

Interesting point in the video that the Russians use Chinese tires, supposedly military grade, that are in fact crap. Maybe the Chinese military has weakness we don’t know about.

The other point I get from this whole situation is that the intelligence services really don’t know what’s going on in other countries w.r.t military strength. In the runup to the Gulf war in 1991, the Iraqis were supposedly a somewhat strong combat power. Now the Russians were supposed to be so much stronger than they really are.


Like the US, the Chinese Military uses the lowest cost supplier. Like the US, graft and corruption will dummy up some bogus parts and junk. The question is always how much?

jeff LPH 3 63-66

I remember the old saying, “””Just because it’s OD Green and says US Army on it doesn’t make it the best since the lowest bidder gets the contract””””


Probably why the Chicoms haven’t hit Taiwan yet.

A Proud Infidel®™

I remember hearing mainstream media candyasses tell us in the days leading up to DS/DS that we were walking into a meatgrinder because the Iraqi Army was “hardened” by their war with Iran and was going to chew us up, and what happened?


Practically every non-Western style military has the commander issue pay. The Commander always steals some. Soldiers always complain about it. Nothing ever changes.

The lack of professional NCO Corp has been an albatross on the Russian military forever. This is an odd thing. Most other countries that lack a professional NCO Corps have very low literacy rates and the enlisted are generally regarded as too stupid to learn to be NCOs. Russia, like most cold weather countries, has a very high literacy rate. The problem is that the leaders are afraid of the soldiers becoming too aware, learning too much and wanting to implement changes.


Back in the olden days, our troops were paid in cash by one of the company’s officers. I had the duty to do this on multiple occasions in my unit in Germany. If the company C.O. or I have embezzled any of that cash, some men would have had their pay shorted. That would have led to a CID investigation and an ass-beating. I found a counterfeit $20 dollar bill in my payroll once. Boy did that create a kerfuffle with finance and CID. I put a personal $20 into the payroll so no one was shorted.


I came into the Army at the end of 92, just as direct deposit was becoming mandatory, so I only did the whole “payday activities” once in basic, by the time the next payday rolled around, pretty much everyone’s direct deposit had kicked in and that whole standing in line to get paid became a thing of legend.


From a different point of view, our enlisted get paid shit (an O-3 w/ 8y TIS makes more than an E-8 w/ 30). If an officer wants to embezzle, there are much more lucrative options – field loss, CERP funds, bribes, kickbacks, lobbyists, etc.

While I certainly agree that a strong NCO corps is the defining difference between a professional military and a government-sanctioned gang, there remains a large degree of disdain among many of our own officers when it comes to their view of NCO IQ.


Not sure how far that $48 a month will get the O3? Maybe a lunch at Charley’s? Both are making over $100K after housing and other allowances so it’s not exactly shit. It’s more like almost 2X the US median income.

But you will be pleased to know that in Russia the conscripts are making roughly double what officers are being paid (at least officially). So perhaps joining the Russian military is the way ahead for you.


That $100K is a bit of an overestimate, save for a few select BAH locations, but it’s admittedly not a bad take-home… it doesn’t change the fact that that is near the high-end for an enlistee after a full career+ vs the low end for an officer fairly early on.

I’m not saying it’s unfair, as enlisted choose to enlist and most careerists stay enlisted despite options to commission. I’m just saying that there are better means for American officers to illicitly pad their pay than to steal from their troops.

A Proud Infidel®™

The Russian Military Vehicles I’ve seen were maybe half a step better than the Chinese junk I’ve seen which looked like it was made in an extreme hurry for Wal Mart!


And to think how many times it was emphasized that our primary mission in ’73 was to close the Fulda Gap with Tactical Nukes. “It’s the only way we’re going to stop Ivan and you better stay ready cause it only takes 7 minutes for his Migs to get here and turn this place into a smoking hole.” Did Ivan miss the opportunity to take over the rest of Europe then or did Harry miss the opportunity to take the leash off of Patton, rearm Fritz, and push Ivan all the way back to “Mother Russia”?

Or here’s another thought. Were we all (the West) sold out by FDR to Joe @ Malta? And Hitlery swapped the uranium to keep the past nefarious activities of demonrats quiet?

Anybody else see the meme where we have supposedly sent, in monetary terms, more weapons to Ukraine than what the total Russian Defense Budget is for a year?

My sympathies are still with only the innocents caught up in this bullshit.


Spot on KoB, on all points


Raw dollars are not a good indicator of how much Russia has spent on defense for numerous reasons. Rather than go through all that I’ll post a few articles that explain. I will point out that Russia spends about 4.3% of their GDP vs the US 3.3% of GDP on defense spending. Although Russia is about to get a lot higher. PPP is a better indicator. The same is true of China.

Also it is easy to point out that Western Weapons have been proven again and again to be vastly superior to Russian weapons. This comes at a much higher cost to research and construct such weapons. As I have been saying for months, in the final analysis still a great bargain compared to having to fight Russia ourselves.


IDK who has played at NTC but the saying I always remembered was; “Don’t go to the flashing light”. Right now that flashing light is the Ukraine. Every tank, helicopter, and cruiser taken off the board in the Ukraine is one less for us to worry about.

In fact I’d say Russia has been set back at least a generation from threatening Western Europe and the remainder of the former Soviet Republics. They have given China a lot to think about as well. It’s unlikely we could have had a better result out of all this. But if Russia wants to keep sending their stuff to the flashing light, well who are we to get in the way of their happiness?

USMC Steve

A more basic and just as accurate assessment is that for so long they were a communist army, and in all really still function as a communist army. No communist country has ever been concerned with giving its troops serious quality gear, because they can always get more troops off the street. Which is what Russia is currently doing.


Nothing new under the sun, as Solomon wrote more than 3,000 years ago.


WW1 looking without the gas.

Mike B

I know in early 92 (Operation Provide Hope) I was working mids pre/post fighting Aircrew Life Support Equipment on the aircraft. An Antonov made aircraft landed at Rhein Main AB, Germany. Honestly don’t recall the nationality of the crews.

They parked the bird over on Nancy Row, where the C-9A Medivacs parked. The aircrew were selling their leather flight jackets to US aircrews before Security Police roped the area off and posted guards.

I got into a heated argument with the SPs as I needed to do the pre/post flight checks on the Medivac aircraft and they were trying to lock down the entire Nancy parking ramp.

Like a lot of us remember when The Wall came down, they East Germans were selling anything and everything to make a buck on us GIs….Still have a Grenztruppen der DDR uniform from then.


At Joint Base Fort Worth a former Russian soldier was selling trinkits, coins and uniform items at the exchange building. This was 2001 and the guy said he was doing a lot better living in the US.

A Proud Infidel®™

A fellow a few doors down from me in the Barracks on Benning had a complete East German Border guard’s uniform right down to the last detail that he got for a carton of Marlboro Reds!

jeff LPH 3 63-66

The russians shouldn’t have rushed in so qiickly and now they are rushing out in a rush.


Jus’ wonderin’…

How much is the Big Guy getting from our oligarchs?


“the second-best army in the world Ukraine”

There …. fixed it for you.


Drone collision w/ P-63? That’s new. Not a whole lot of altitude right there to restart engine either.