"Medical provision for Russian combat troops in Ukraine is probably growing worse," read a statement from the MOD on Friday.
"Some newly mobilized Russian reservists have been ordered to source their own combat first aid supplies, with the advice that female sanitary products are a cost-effective solution," it said. However, Russian Defense Committee member Dmitry Perminov denied similar reports on Tuesday, telling Russian news site Podyum that "this is the first time" he hears that such items were being used in the army.
"The President said that all mobilized persons will be provided, equipped, trained, combat coordination and will be sent to perform tasks," he told the outlet.
According to independent Russian news site The Insider (which has no relationship to Insider), the denial came in reaction to video that circulated on Telegram.
The video showed a military staffer in Altai Krai, southern Russia advising recruits to "ask your wives, girlfriends or mothers for sanitary pads," The Insider reported.The cheapest pads, plus the cheapest tampons," she said, going on to explain that tampons could be used to plug bullet wounds.
She also advised them to buy their own hydrogen peroxide — a mild antiseptic — and tourniquets, per the video.While some Russian soldiers have bought modern combat tourniquets, they "have stowed them on their equipment using cable ties, rather than with the Velcro provided — probably because such equipment is scarce and liable to be pilfered," the statement said.
This, the MOD said, would make the tourniquets much harder to use when they are needed.
Poor medical training is contributing to poor Russian morale on the field, the MOD statement said.
There have been frequent reports of low morale and inadequate supplies among Russian soldiers.In mid-September, unverified audio files shared by Ukraine's Defense Intelligence appeared to reveal the thoughts of two soldiers, one of whom cursed out his commander and another who questioned why he was fighting at all.
Another call that Defense Intelligence said on Tuesday that it intercepted from a Russian soldier appeared to show him saying he would "pray for a wound" so that he could be sent home.