Russia’s corruption is ‘no doubt’ affecting its military’s combat performance
Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, and the war has not unfolded the way Russian President Vladimir Putin would have wanted. The British Ministry of Defense and U.S. officials regularly note that the Russian military has made slow progress, taking several days to even address day-one targets.
But more troubling for Russian troops would be the shortcomings in supplies and equipment: Pictures on social media indicate that troops carried rations that had expired in 2015, and the equipment appears dated, with radio communications transmitting over open channels and lacking long-range capabilities. Tanks and vehicles abandoned during combat show evidence of poor maintenance and care.
Rebekah Koffler, a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer, said that Russia has a habit of holding onto outdated equipment, but corruption is “absolutely” affecting everything, including the military, with both private businessmen and the mafia taking cuts.
“Corruption is so rampant,” Koffler told Fox News Digital. “There’s not the same scrupulousness in Russia – it’s former Soviet Union, and it’s not even in the culture to check the expiration because no one would trust it anyways.”
The setup in Russia between the oligarchs – billionaires who control whole sections of Russian industry – and the mafia is fairly unique compared to the West. Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Thomas Spoehr told Fox News Digital that while there is no specific organized crime ring in the military, it’s “certain” organized crime operates in the Russian military to some degree.