“An army marches on its stomach.”
Napoleon said that. It’s as true today as it was when the French emperor invaded Russia in 1812.
Vladimir Putin should have kept that in mind before he ordered his forces to invade Ukraine. His conscript army is hungry – starving, perhaps. Some Russian privates have been caught on video looting chicken coops. Others have been begging food from Ukrainian civilians – at gunpoint, of course.
Why, you ask? The field rations they were issued prior to the invasion are inedible. They’re too old and unsafe to eat. Some expired in 2015. One young Russian conscript posted several photos on social media, which showed his rations expired seven years ago.
Where are the fresh field rations, you ask? They’re being sold on Amazon, of course, just $73.99 each with free delivery for Prime members. And they expire in 2022. The Russian firm has been selling their army’s food since 2019, earning a rating of 3.7 out of 5 stars.
While this type of fraud and/or thievery may be difficult for Americans to understand, it’s business as usual for Russians, where corruption not only runs rampant, it’s a way of life. Anything of value was looted and sold long ago.
We’re learning more every day about what’s left of the once-mighty Red Army. We expected logistical problems, but nothing this bad.
The one thing every young NCO learns – regardless of the army in which they serve – is the need to make sure your troops get sufficient food.
To be clear, hungry Russian soldiers are dying in an unpopular foreign war, while the despot in charge ignores the will and the welfare of his people. Things are beginning to sound a lot like 1917.