Ukraine and Russia the War of the Mice Defenseless Soldiers

Ukraine and Russia, the War of the Mice: Defenseless Soldiers

Vomiting, fever, bleeding from the eyes. Ukraine and Russia are fighting each other in the war that has been going on for almost two years, but they also have to face a common enemy: rats. The trenches on both sides are infested with rodents, and the soldiers' quarters are infested everywhere. The rats have taken over and are now even affecting the ability to fight.

The “mouse” factor has become so relevant that it even deserves a place in the analyzes of CNN, which described the “mouse epidemic” based on information from a Ukrainian army soldier in the southern Zaporizhzhia region.

“Imagine going to sleep and the night begins with a mouse getting into your pants or sweater, nibbling at your fingertips, or biting your hand. If you're lucky, you'll manage to sleep for 2-3 hours,” said the woman “Kira”, who had to fight with a thousand mice together with three comrades: “They weren't the ones who came to visit us. We were the guests.”

The presence of rodents is easy to explain. Beyond the reproductive ability of mice, the presence of rats is favored by the war situation: for months the conflict has turned into a static stalemate without significant changes on the front line. Soldiers from Moscow and Kiev have been occupying the same positions for weeks, if not months, with inevitable consequences. Mice easily find warmer places and food to survive the harsh winter.

According to Kira's report, it is pointless to try to contain his presence with poison or ammonia. The use of a cat has produced some results, but the number of rodents is so high that even the most willing cats are put to flight: “We had a cat, Busia. She helped us by eating a few mice, then there were too many. “He can catch one or two cats, but when faced with a group of 70…”

In a war documented hour after hour by videos shared on social media and Telegram, rats can be seen emerging from all sides: from beds, from backpacks, from power generators. Even from mortars. A recent video published on Telegram by the Ukrainian Armed Forces showed the operation carried out by a drone in which some Russian soldiers were eliminated in a trench: rats on the corpses and among the weapons left behind.

The problem is more serious than one might think and becomes a factor that can affect performance in combat. According to Ukrainian intelligence in December, many Russian units in the Kharkiv region – in the Kupiansk area – were affected by “mouse fever”, a disease transmitted through contact with rodent feces, particularly through consumption of contaminated food.

The intelligence reports cannot be verified and refer to very serious symptoms: from fever and skin irritation to a drop in blood pressure, bleeding from the eyes and kidney damage, with excruciating pain and problems with the urinary system. Added to this is the stress that the presence of mice causes at night, when rest becomes even more difficult for the soldiers. According to information from Kiev, it is unclear whether the epidemic also affected Ukrainian ministries.

CNN asked Ihor Zahorodniuk, a researcher at the National History Museum in Kyiv, for clarification. The spread of mice was aided by the relatively mild winter last year. In many areas, agricultural activity has stopped, leaving crops unattended and available to rodents that have found plenty of food.

Now come the consequences. In the trenches the rats eat everything, as “Kira” explained: “They make their way through the metal boxes and chew on the cables. They bite into everything: radios, repeaters, antennas. Communication problems arise that can cost lives.” They got into the jeeps and bit into the electrics, the car became unusable. They gnawed at the tanks and wheels. They caused $26,000 in damage to our animal shelter alone.” According to Zahorodniuk, the situation will only improve in spring: winter is getting worse. “It's getting colder and colder and the rats will get further and further into the ditches. “It’s going to get worse before it gets better.”