The parents of some Russian soldiers have urged their sons to loot car components in Ukraine to compensate for their low pay in the military, Ukrainian authorities claimed.
One father told his son, whom the parent referred to as his sponsor, not to stand out so he can make money and come home, the Security Service of Ukraine SBU said in a statement. Both were not named by Ukrainian authorities.
The parent also advised his son, who is currently stationed near the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, not to pay attention to his low salary and to compensate for the lack of money with expensive Ukrainian cars, according to the agency.
The father told his son that Mercedes has expensive parts, that was shared by the SBU in a supposed intercepted conversation.
Russian soldiers, which make up around a fourth of all Russian soldiers, are paid 3,000 rubles $35 a month, while regular soldiers have a monthly salary of 62,000 rubles $755 according to a report by the Financial Post.
The soldier admitted that he had thought about doing what his father suggested but claimed that our commanders, as soon as they see such cars, they either f-k them and ride them or shoot them with machine guns. The trooper's dad urged his son to take the alternators or generators of Mercedes and Audi cars instead, which he claimed can sell for between 10,000 and 20,000 rubles, or around $122 to $243.
A replacement alternator for Mercedes-Benz's 300 series of vehicles costs about $105 online, while a replacement alternator for an Audi A 3 sedan is priced at $120.
The father told his son that it would be 200,000 rubles $2,430 if you dig a dozen generators.
There were previous reports accusing Russian soldiers of looting items in Ukraine, such as jewelry and works of art. The stolen items are allegedly sent back to Russia via CDEK, a Russian express delivery company.
Russian forces have allegedly set up a bazaar in Naroulia, Belarus that sells goods stolen from Ukraine.
The items being sold in the bazaar include refrigerators, jewelry, cars, bicycles, motorcycles, dishes, carpets, works of art, children's toys and cosmetics.
Pillaging is considered a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
This is not an army. This is a disgrace. We will never forget and we will never forgive, Oleg Nikolenko, a spokeswoman for Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said.