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Russian Troops Using Carpets and Saplings As Camouflage: Report

  • Russian troops in Ukraine appear to be using twigs, hay, and saplings to cover their vehicles.
  • One video circulating on social media shows a Russian vehicle taped with saplings, per The Washington Post.
  • In comparison, Ukrainian troops have been using camouflage nets to obscure themselves in the war.

Russian forces in Ukraine appear to be using carpets, saplings, and hay to cover their armored vehicles, a possible sign that they haven’t been provided adequate camouflage equipment, The Washington Post reported.

One video of a firefight circulating over social media shows a military vehicle with pine saplings sparsely taped to its side, per The Post.

Another video, also identified by The Post, depicts Russian troops covering an armored vehicle with tarpaulin and carpets.


Several images of a Russian convoy crossing into the eastern Donbas region the day before the war began also show the roofs of multiple military vehicles covered with straw.

A convoy of Russian military vehicles is seen as the vehicles move towards border in Donbas region of eastern Ukraine on February 23, 2022 in Russian border city Rostov.

A convoy of Russian military vehicles in the Russian border city Rostov on February 23.

Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Another photo shows a Russian armored vehicle in the convoy topped with twigs.

Russian military convoy vehicle moving into Donbas

One vehicle in the convoy was seen topped with twigs

Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The absence of camouflage netting among some Russian forces shows a surprising lack of preparation, and perhaps an initial overconfidence from their military leaders, Russian military expert Rob Lee told The Post.

The US military has used camouflage nets since the 1990s and recently upgraded them to fit woodland, snow, and desert environments. Ukrainian troops have also been using such nets, with civilians even helping to weave them for use on the frontline.

The quality of Russia’s troops and equipment have come into question in the weeks after Russian leader Vladimir Putin declared a full-scale invasion into Ukraine.

Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called Russia’s army “incompetent,” adding that Moscow was “driving their people to slaughter” and that Ukrainian troops had inflicted “unprecedented losses” upon the invaders.

Russian casualties have continued to mount as the war stretches longer than the Kremlin reportedly anticipated. A NATO official estimated on March 24 that at least 40,000 Russian troops had been killed, captured or injured in the invasion.

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