Video Shows Russian Troop Anger at Ukraine War: 'What Are We Doing Here?'

Video has gone viral of apparently angry Russian soldiers complaining that they were ill-equipped and ordered to go into a region of Ukraine with no clear planning from Moscow.

The clip shows the troops in a military vehicle describing how they were members of the armed forces from Donbas, the eastern Ukrainian region at the center of a conflict with Kyiv-backed forces since 2014.

During the one minute 40-second video, the troops outline how they were heading to the Sumy region in northeastern Ukraine.

Several of them interrupt each other during the video, which is filled with expletives and refers to the 119th Division, 4th battalion and 1st and 2nd companies.

One said they were "ordinary workers," another said "we're kids" and that "they took us at 18 years old."

Each outburst vents anger, fear and uncertainty at what will befall them as they spoke of their colleagues who had already been killed or taken as prisoners of war.

"What are we doing here?" said one, "the Russian Defense Ministry has no idea about us, or what we're doing here." Another said that Moscow was "sending us with rifles against Grads [multiple launch rocket systems] artillery, mortars. We're asking you to spread this."

The video in Russian contains strong language.

The video was initially posted on Donbass Case, a Telegram channel with around 29,000 followers that claims: "We know more and share with those who are ready to know the truth."

While not verified, the video has been widely shared by Twitter users and outlets that have been covering the Ukraine war. As of Tuesday morning, it had been viewed more than 1.1 million times. Newsweek has contacted Russia's Defense Ministry for comment.

The footage comes amid continued reports of low morale among Russian troops. These include claims by the Pentagon that entire units, some full of young conscripts, have laid down their weapons rather than fight Ukraine's forces.

Screen grab of Russian soldiers in vehicle
A screengrab of a clip apparently showing Russian soldiers complaining about a lack of equipment. The video has gone viral. Twitter

Video on social media have also shown military vehicles apparently abandoned by Russian soldiers. Captured Russian pilots have given press conferences organized by Kyiv in which they describe their regret at carrying out strikes on civilian targets.

Earlier this month, video appeared to show a Russian soldier complaining that he and his colleagues had been left as "cannon fodder" by their superiors.

Estimates vary over the number of Russian troop losses, with Kyiv claiming it could be as high as 16,000. Russia's forces have also been hit by a loss of commanders and Kyiv claiming that more than half a dozen generals have been killed.

Russian military vehicle
Ukrainian troops drive a captured Russian military vehicle after retaking the village of Mala Rogan, East of Kharkiv, on March 28, 2022. A video has gone viral of what appears to be Russian troops complaining about how they were being sent into battle ill-equipped and with no clear direction from Moscow. Aris Messinis/Getty