When we talk about Russia’s forces in Ukraine, you might be forgiven for thinking the Kremlin foots all the bills for their military needs. The reality on the ground is somewhat different. Russia supplies its mercenaries with uniforms, weapons, ammo, training and basic food needs. Additionally, the basic entry mercenary wage is around $250 a month.
If unable to acquire extra equipment needs through official Russian channels, mercenary units look to raise their own funds to purchase items. Appealing to presumably family/friends and those who know their fighting in Ukraine, the below group use Russia’s Yandex Money payment system to accept donations.
Unsurprisingly on Russian social media, the so-called Mission Donbass group are not keen on revealing their identity, so their faces are hidden and blurred. Note they refer to their military fund raising as “humanitarian” aid and “Christmas gifts.” With another hard winter in eastern Ukraine, they’ve been buying extra winter camouflage and warm/waterproof clothing.
These men are stationed in the occupied front line town of Horlivka, in Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast (province). Like other units, to purchase military equipment mercenaries travel to Russia and bring items back across the Russian controlled Ukrainian border.