Russian reservists called up to fight in Ukraine ‘must buy their own bulletproof vests’

British intelligence chiefs said many of the Russian reservists called up to fight in Ukraine are having to buy their own bulletproof vests.

The UK Ministry of Defence said in its daily report that “endemic corruption and poor logistics” remained the cause of Russia’s “poor performance” in Ukraine.

He added that the average amount of personal equipment Russia is providing to mobilized reservists is “certainly less than the equipment of previously deployed units, which was already in poor condition.”

The Defense Ministry wrote: “It is likely that many reservists will need to purchase their own bulletproof vests, particularly the newer 6B45 vests that are being issued to combat units as part of the Ratnik personal equipment program.”

“The vest is being sold on a Russian online shopping site for 40,000 rubles (about $640), up from about 12,000 rubles (about $190) in April.”

In 2020, Russian authorities announced that 300,000 Ratnik armored vehicles had been delivered to their military, “enough to equip all units currently deployed in Ukraine.”

Ukraine announced that it had recaptured more than 600 settlements from enemy-occupied territories over the past month.

Officials said more than 500 villages had been liberated in the northeastern Kharkiv region, where Ukrainian forces advanced deep into Russian positions.

In addition, 50 settlements were liberated in eastern Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, and 75 settlements in southern Kherson oblast.

But there were signs Friday that Russia was still making some progress in Donetsk.

British defence chiefs said Russian-backed forces had moved towards the centre of the strategically important city of Bakhmut and possibly advanced into villages to the south.

The defence ministry said fighters from the Wagner Group, described as Putin’s private army, “likely remain heavily involved” in the fighting in Bakhmut.

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