ARussian pundit has said younger men should be sent to the frontlines as men over 40 are unhealthy “after a constant consumption of alcohol.”
In a video uploaded by Julia Davis, creator of the Russian Media Monitor, film and video translator Dmitry Puchkov tried to justify having younger men make up the army.
During a discussion with Ivan Pankin, host of Radio Komsomolskaya Pravda, Puchkov said the composition of the Russian army would have to be revamped and that younger men should be trained as the government would not have to pay as many widows or children in the event of their deaths.
Ukrainian officials have said that an estimated 70,250 Russian soldiers have been killed since the outbreak of the war on February 24.
Russia has rarely released figures of its war dead and an official tally released on September 21 stated 5,937 had been killed.
Both estimates have been criticized by international observers with Michael Clarke, visiting professor in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, stating last month that the total could be between 30,000 and 40,000, including Wagner mercenaries and Syrian groups.
Puchkov outlined his vision of how the Russian army should be comprised and said middle-aged Russians would not be physically fit to take active part in armed conflict.
He said: “We will have to create a normal people’s army where everyone who is fit will have to serve, they will have to serve the minimum of two years or three years in the navy. There is no way to get trained in the shorter term.
“Next, it will turn out that those trained 18-year-olds will have to be sent to the front to take part in combat instead of calling up 40-year-olds with higher education, a business, a wife and three children whose death at the front will cause the necessity of paying a pension to the wife, to the children etc.”
He added: “Instead, 18-year-olds will go, no matter how cynical this sounds, they will have to be sent. There is no way around it – no way. All those talks about people who previously fought and served in hot spots.
“Citizens, do you have a clear understanding about the physical state of a Russian 40-year-old man or at 50 years of age? Can he run, jump, sleep on the cold ground? How is his prostate? How are his kidneys after a constant consumption of alcohol?
“What is he to you, some kind of monster? No. Children will have to go serve in the army, they’ll serve for two years and take part in combat. This is the only way. And this is the kind of army we can anticipate. That’s what I believe.”
The U.K. Ministry of Defense said on Saturday that newly-mobilized troops will be sent into battle against Ukrainian forces with little to no training at all and will offer “little additional offensive combat capability.”
It added that Russian forces are conducting training in Belarus, due to a shortage of training staff, munitions, and facilities in Russia.