Russian soldiers are reportedly begging their parents for money to buy body armor
Russian soldiers. (AFP file photo)

The lack of military funding in Russia is now apparently impacting soldiers who are being forced to buy their own body armor. There have been allegations of corruption by foes of President Vladimir Putin that cash was siphoned off, leaving the military unable to buy necessary equipment.

The Daily Beast reported Thursday that one soldier's mother was on a tapped call that was shared by Ukraine's Security Service (SB). "How much do you need?" the mom asked. "And what kind of equipment?"

She later asked, "And you have to buy that with your own money?"

The frustration isn't unheard of, when it was discovered that Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan were buying their own body armor in 2004. A March 7, 2005, story in the New York Times by reporter Michael Moss revealed that shortly after the Iraq War began in April 2003, the military noticed that soldiers that were not on the front lines didn't need the equipment. They put a hold on production.

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So, when "Iraqi snipers and suicide bombers stepped up deadly attacks, often directed at those very soldiers behind the front lines," it meant there wasn't the proper equipment for soldiers. A secret Pentagon study was reported in Jan. 2006 by the New York Times saying as many as 80 percent of Marines killed in Iraq could have survived if they had body armor that covered their torso.

If Russia was plotting their push across Ukraine in 2014 when they invaded Crimea, they clearly weren't planning on a ground war that would necessitate body armor. Putin believed, however, that he would be greeted as liberators. He also thought that the Russian army was so fierce and massive that they would be able to finish the invasion quickly. It hasn't worked out that way at all.

“Body armor — it’s just that what we have now is terrible," the soldier told his mother.

Russia has been blasted over the past weeks for not giving soldiers the necessary gear. When the invasion began the soldiers were complaining of expired MREs. Ultimately, Russia asked China for help with equipment, including MREs to help ensure troops were being fed.

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"The intercepted call is just the latest incident indicating that Russian troops have begun to realize that Moscow sent them to Ukraine only to be left high and dry, fighting for their lives and fed up," said the report.

Morale has been down, a senior U.S. defense official revealed this week about the Russian soldiers.

“We still see anecdotal reports of poor morale of troops, indeed officers, refusing to obey orders and move and not really sound command and control from a leadership perspective,” the official said in a briefing call.

Read the full report at the Daily Beast.