Videos captured more than 100 Russian soldiers protesting over lack of pay
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Videos shared by several Telegram channels in Russia appeared to show more than 100 draftees protesting outside a training center in Chuvash Republic over not being paid 195,000 rubles ($3,135 USD) to fight the war with Ukraine.
In one Telegram post from anti-war channel Chuvashia Dream, the conscripts accused the military of not paying them before they waked into "certain death" and leaving their families "without support," the independent Russian news website Meduza reported.
"For the sake of what then should we go to fight for this state?" the Telegram message read. "We refuse to participate in the Special Military Operation and will seek justice until we are paid the money promised by our government headed by the President of the Russian Federation!”
In an interview with 7x7, an independent news site, one draftee said that "everyone [there] is deceived" by the military and that "they are sent to war for a penny."
Riot police were eventually called and reportedly "calmed" protestors, telling them that they would eventually be paid, according to sources who spoke Baza, a Russian news agency that operates via Telegram.
After Putin's decision to mobilize an additional 300,000 soldiers in September, the military announced several benefits, saying new draftees could earn a monthly salary between 135,000 to 200,000 rubles ($2,290 to $3,400) depending on their rank. The government also promised to freeze loan and mortgage payments for any draftee and to cancel debt for any soldier killed or severely injured.
The Russian Defense Ministry announced Monday that the mobilization effort was complete.
Thousands of Russian men have fled the country since Putin announced his mobilization plan. For weeks, other soldiers have publicly complained about no payments and harsh living conditions, with some purchasing their own armor in hopes that they might have a better chance at survival.