Some choice excerpts from a 1940 report on the readiness of the Kiev Military District.
"Out of rifles owned by elements of the 79th infantry division, after 4 months of use, 29% developed rust in the barrels. 14% of DP machine guns have poor condition barrels."
"139th regiment: the command staff are not confident enough to disassemble new model rifles for removal of dirt and rust.
496th division: does not know the purpose of cuts on the screwdriver tip, does not know how and why lye is used. The timetables do not dedicate time to learning small arms.
41 division: command staff do not know the meaning of different colours of bullets, does not know the rules for inserting rounds into belts.
253rd regiment: is not proficient with the self-loading rifle or PPD. Does not know how to clean firearms and does not know the meaning of cuts on a screwdriver.
10th regiment: artillerymen insist that lye is not used when cleaning firearms.
97th division: the command staff are not proficient with the optical sight for the Maxim gun, optical sight for the sniper rifle, and various new types of firearms. Several commanders do not know how to remove the bayonet from the model 1891/90 rifle.
The junior command staff also have poor knowledge, but better knowledge of weapons used in their units.
Knowledge of cadets is poor. They do not know automatic rifles at all, and are only capable of carrying a rifle and pulling the trigger. Knowledge of firearms is poor, and artillerymen completely do not know DP machine gun and revolver parts. Machine gunners do not know rifle parts and how to disassemble one. To my great shame, cadets of regimental schools know firearms worse than privates, and still manage to graduate as junior commanders.
I do not have to mention the junior commanders' knowledge of rules of cleaning weapons. This is the only possible outcome, as a commander that does not know anything about his weapons cannot pass on his knowledge to his subordinates."