Russian troops in a new combat unit meant to turn the tide in Ukraine keep getting drunk and harassing locals, nearby residents say

Russian President Vladimir Putin toasting.
Russian President Vladimir Putin toasts during reception for military servicemen who took part in Syrian campaign on December 28, 2017 in Moscow, Russia.Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images
  • Russia has suffered staggering losses in Ukraine and is looking to bolster its ranks.

  • But one new combat unit in training is reportedly harassing locals and spending much of its time drunk.

  • Locals have been complaining about the new unit on social media, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Russia is desperate to make up for devastating troop losses in Ukraine, and it has recently begun training new volunteer battalions that are meant to help it turn the tide in a war that doesn't appear to be going its way.

But one such unit, the 3rd Army Corps, has troops apparently spending much of their time inebriated and bothering local residents in the area where it's training, per a Wall Street Journal report. Such observations may indicate that these recent recruits lack discipline and will struggle to bolster Russia's war effort in a significant capacity.

According to the Journal, residents in the town of Mulino — where training has been underway — have been complaining about the new combat unit on social media.

"The whole village is suffering because of these volunteers," a woman who identified as Ksenia Glotova wrote on the Russian social network VK, the report said. "They walk around in groups and harass. It would be one thing if they were being trained and stayed on their base. But they're walking around drunk from 11 am."

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Yekaterina Horoshavina, another user, said that the unit seemed proud it's set to be deployed to Ukraine, writing that "they say they're going to defend us, but based on what we've seen we won't be sleeping very calmly."

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia's military to expand by 137,000 beginning in 2023. The announcement came a day after the Ukraine war marked its six-month anniversary. The conflict has become a grinding war of attrition, with Russia primarily focusing on making gains in the eastern Donbas region and holding captured territory in the south. But progress has been incremental, and Russia's advance is effectively stalled.

The Pentagon recently said that it's estimated up to 80,000 Russian troops have been killed or wounded in the war so far, which is a staggering number in just half a year of fighting.

As Russia looks to reinforce its ranks, Ukraine appears to be launching a long-awaited counteroffensive in the south.

"The Armed Forces of Ukraine have breached the occupiers' first line of defense near Kherson," the strategic communications center of the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine said in a statement Monday. "They believe that Ukraine has a real chance to get back its occupied territories, especially considering the very successful use of Western weapons by the Ukrainian army."

Read the original article on Business Insider