Russia bought 300,000 armor vests in 2020. Where did they go? -UK intel

"Endemic corruption and poor logistics remain one of the underlying causes of Russia's poor performance in Ukraine."

 A Russian serviceman addresses reservists at a gathering point in the course of partial mobilization of troops, aimed to support the country's military campaign in Ukraine, in the town of Volzhsky in the Volgograd region, Russia September 28, 2022.  (photo credit: STRINGER/ REUTERS)
A Russian serviceman addresses reservists at a gathering point in the course of partial mobilization of troops, aimed to support the country's military campaign in Ukraine, in the town of Volzhsky in the Volgograd region, Russia September 28, 2022.
(photo credit: STRINGER/ REUTERS)

Russian military body armor has been siphoned off by corruption, forcing recently mobilized and unprotected military reservists to buy the equipment, the UK Defense Ministry said in an intelligence update on Thursday.

This is despite the fact that 300,000 sets of Ratnik body armor had been supplied to the Russian military, British intelligence cited Russian authorities as saying two years ago.

According the the intelligence source, this is because "endemic corruption and poor logistics remain one of the underlying causes of Russia's poor performance in Ukraine."

The body armor that Russian reservists are required to purchase is the 6B45 vest, the intel report said. The vest has been selling on online sites in Russia in April of this year for approximately 40,000 roubles ($640 or NIS 2,270).

Russia's consistent lack of resources

 A member of the Ukrainian National Guard prepares a D-30 howitzer for a fire towards Russian troops, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kharkiv region, Ukraine October 5, 2022 (credit: REUTERS/VYACHESLAV MADIYEVSKYY) A member of the Ukrainian National Guard prepares a D-30 howitzer for a fire towards Russian troops, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kharkiv region, Ukraine October 5, 2022 (credit: REUTERS/VYACHESLAV MADIYEVSKYY)

Ukrainian, British and Russian sources have been reporting difficult conditions for the Russian troops since the outset of the war. 

In March 2022, the Ukrainian Intelligence Directorate reported that Russia was attempting to restore very old military equipment in order to replace losses incurred in its war with Ukraine. 

In September, unverified video footage was posted to Twitter showing an officer telling newly mobilized soldiers to buy their own first aid equipment. 

In early October, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry published a statement saying that those drafted as part of President Vladimir Putin's recent mobilization reportedly lacked food, uniforms and lodgings.