Mice and rats flood Ukrainian trenches in a graphic reenactment of World War I

Rat and mouse infestations have reportedly expanded to the front lines of Russia’s conflict in Ukraine, causing soldiers to vomit and bleed from their eyes, severely impairing their ability to fight and simulating the horrific conditions that beset soldiers during World conflict I’s trench warfare. A Ukrainian army member known by the call sign “Kira” described how, while battling in the southern Zaporizhzhia region last October, her battalion was plagued by a “mouse epidemic.” Imagine going to bed and having a mouse bite your hand, gnaw your fingertips, or burrow under your sweater or jeans at the start of the night.


The infestations are caused in part by seasonal changes and the mating habits of mice, but they also reflect the stagnation of the conflict following the overwhelming rejection of Ukraine’s counteroffensive by Russia’s well built defenses. Mice are foraging along the almost 1,000-kilometer (621-mile) frontline during another hard winter, bringing illness and unhappiness with them as they look for warmth and food. Kira claimed that she had tried everything, including praying and dousing their bunkers in ammonia and pesticide, to get rid of the mice. Shops in the vicinity made a fortune by stocking up on anti-mouse goods, she claimed. But they attempted different approaches as the mice persisted in arriving.


Soldiers from Russia and Ukraine posted videos to social media that demonstrated the severity of the infestations on the front lines. Rats and mice are frequently observed running around in coat pockets, pillowcases, backpacks, power generators, and beneath beds. In one, mice are seen shooting out of a Russian mortar turret like Browning bullets. In another, a soldier taps the top of the seat, causing dozens more to drop down while a cat tries to swipe a mouse from an armchair. The cat gives up and retreats after realizing it is vastly outnumbered.

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