The front lines in Ukraine have been overrun by rats and mice, spreading diseases among soldiers that paralyze their fighting abilities. This is reminiscent of the gruesome conditions in the trenches during World War I, reports CNN.
A Ukrainian soldier nicknamed “Kira” recalls how last fall her battalion was hit by a “mouse epidemic” during fighting in the southern region of Zaporozhye.
– Imagine that you go to bed and the night starts with a mouse crawling into your pants or sweater, biting your fingertips or your hand. Depending on how lucky you are, you sleep for two or three hours, Kira told CNN.
She estimated that there were about a thousand mice in her dugout intended for four soldiers. – It wasn’t mice that visited us. We were their guests, she added.
Videos shared on social media by Ukrainian and Russian soldiers show the scale of the plague on the front lines. Mice and rats prowl under beds, in backpacks, generators, clothing pockets and pillowcases. One video shows mice flying out of a Russian mortar like bullets from a gun.
“Mouse fever” on the Ukrainian front
In December, Ukrainian military intelligence reported an outbreak of “mouse fever” in many Russian units around Kupyansk in the Kharkiv region. The report stated that the disease is transmitted from mice to humans “by inhalation of dust from mouse feces or by ingestion of mouse feces in food.”
CNN reported that it was unable to verify these reports, but according to the Ukrainian military, symptoms of the disease include fever, rash, low blood pressure, bleeding from the eyes, vomiting, and, because the disease attacks the kidneys, severe back pain and problems urinating. .
As a result, as stated by the intelligence community Ukraine, “mouse fever” significantly reduced the combat ability of Russian soldiers. It was not stated whether it affected Ukrainian troops in a similar way.
CNN reported that Ukrainian intelligence reports were reminiscent of World War I, when rotten piles of garbage and corpses allowed “trench rats” to rapidly breed. Rats are nocturnal and are often busiest when soldiers are trying to rest, which causes great stress.
Like from World War I
During World War I, the rat population increased dramatically as the conflict stagnated in the trenches. There are fears of war Russia in Ukraine she did the same – writes CNN.
– The fight against them should be organized and not rely on soldiers and volunteers who have no idea how to deal with them. It’s bad. After all, it’s a matter of the army’s combat capabilities. We must take care of our soldiers, one Ukrainian soldier told CNN.
Mice not only spread diseases among soldiers, but also destroy military and electrical equipment. “Kira” mentioned that while working as a liaison and staying separately from other combat units in Zaporozhye, she saw that mice “were able to climb into metal boxes and bite wires”, disrupting communication.
– They chewed everything: radios, amplifiers, cables. Mice climbed into cars and gnawed on electrical wires, preventing the cars from running, and also gnawed on tanks and wheels, she said.
Main photo source: Ozge Elif Kizil/Anadolu via Getty Images