‘Use tampons to staunch bullet wounds’, Russian army recruits told

Russian army recruits - REUTERS/Sergey Pivovarov
Russian army recruits - REUTERS/Sergey Pivovarov

New recruits to the Russian army are being told to ask their wives and girlfriends for tampons to use as bandages in the event they get shot, as military supplies run out.

In a video circulating on social media, a woman who has been identified as a military doctor can be seen giving what appears to be an introductory speech to new recruits.

In it, she tells them the army is woefully short on military equipment and that only uniforms will be supplied.

Listing all the necessities an army would ordinarily provide but in this instance cannot, she says recruits must provide basic medical equipment like first aid - or the closest thing possible.

“Get your wives and girlfriends to get sanitary pads. The cheapest pads plus the cheapest tampons. You all know what the tampons are for?”

“To stop the bleeding?” says one man.

“You shove it right into the bullet wound and the tampon expands and applies pressure to the wounds,” says the woman.

“I know all that from Chechnya,” she says in an apparent reference to Russia’s two wars there between 1994 and 2000.

As Russia’s war in Ukraine drags on, Moscow has struggled to properly equip and arm its soldiers.

Reports have emerged of Russian soldiers being resupplied with soggy lavatory paper and Soviet-era field telephones rather than modern weapons.

Soldiers have repeatedly complained, leading to pro-war Russians crowdfunding supplies.

Everything from rifle scopes to boots for soldiers has been sent to Ukraine, paid for by patriotic Russians through fundraising initiatives.

reservists - REUTERS/Sergey Pivovarov
reservists - REUTERS/Sergey Pivovarov

But the video, which was reportedly filmed in the southern city of Volgograd, is one of the most potentially damning yet of the scale of Russia’s negligence of its armed forces.

“Sleeping bags are required,” says the woman.

“You’ll be sleeping where you can. Plus camping mats or pads. You get it, right.”

When one of the men she’s addressing asks, “So none of it is provided to us?,” the woman replies, “You’ll have to bring all that yourself, boys.”

“The uniform is all that’s provided by the army. But the armour and all that’s military-related we don’t have any of that.”

“I don’t have tourniquets for you too. There are no tourniquets in the pharmacies anymore.

The video, which could not be independently verified, comes as Russia ramps up mobilisation to Ukraine following a series of defeats on the battlefield.

The call for hundreds of thousands of troops has caused panic among men who fear they will be called up to fight despite the Kremlin’s claim only those with combat experience will be drafted.

Protesters against the draft have clashed with police across the country, leading to thousands of arrests.