The Armed Forces of Ukraine are plagued by “huge problems” ranging from inadequate command to severe lack of essential military equipment and supplies, German tabloid Bild reported on Monday, citing several soldiers and officers it had talked to. Several told the paper that Kiev’s much-touted summer counteroffensive, which failed to bring about any major territorial gains, was a mistake.
Ukrainian troops have to use fifty-year-old Soviet civilian off-road cars to get to the frontlines, some of the soldiers told Bild, pointing to the acute shortage of armored troop carriers and military off-road vehicles. One of the sources in the report said soldiers have to pay for repairs and fuel for their cars themselves as the Ukrainian leadership does not compensate for these expenses.
“In a car repair shop, we pay for everything out of our own pocket,” the soldier said. Kiev’s forces also suffer from the lack of reconnaissance and strike drones, which they also have to purchase themselves or get from various aid organizations and private donors. Some units have to rely on custom-built unmanned aerial vehicles outfitted with parts made on 3D-printers, one of Bild’s sources reported.