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ISW: Russian border guards complain of equipment shortages

by Abbey Fenbert September 12, 2023 5:05 AM 2 min read
A Ukrainian border guard looks through binoculars on his position at the border with Russia in Kharkiv Oblast on July 5, 2023. (Photo by Sergey Bobok / AFP via Getty Images)
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Russian border guards are underequipped and anxious about the possibility of Ukrainian cross-border raids, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) wrote in its Sept. 11 report.

The ISW wrote that a Russian war commentator and member of the Kremlin's human rights council shared complaints from border guards that authorities left them ill-prepared at their posts.

According to the report, guards "from almost all border service departments" shared these complaints, and lacked "sufficient digital communications systems, reconnaissance and strike drones, mobile transport, and medical supplies."

The guards' complaints echo those of occupying Russian troops in Ukraine, who have decried chronic equipment shortages at the front.

The commentator cited in the ISW's analysis alleged that border guards could only receive necessary weapons and supplies through "personal connections with Russian military units."

The ISW said that these complaints point to fears "about the threat of possible Ukrainian cross-border raids into Russia and Ukrainian drone attacks on Russian territory."

Drone strikes in Bryansk, Kursk, and Belgorod oblasts, Russian regions that border Ukraine, have been on the rise in recent weeks.

On Aug. 22, the U.K. Defense Ministry said that some drone strikes on Russian targets were likely launched from within Russian territory.

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