Several telephone conversations of Russian soldiers intercepted by Ukrainian intelligence reveal a crisis situation in the Russian Army, where conscripts are demoralized, desperate to preserve their lives, starving, and subject to the constant surveillance and blackmail by their superiors.
In a grim conversation with his mother, a Russian soldier confessed to her that he was “terrified here, I can barely get the basics. There is no regimental commander, they killed him, that’s all.” He added: “They say our regiment will be evacuated from here from the 14th to the 15th (March).”
“Every day they bring 200 (dead) to Stavropol, and they are buried every day,” the demoralized soldier continues. “There are protests there in Stavropol, there are mothers, fathers, wives, who are coming to the barracks. It’s a total mess what’s going on in the regiment. I will probably retire.”
Russian soldiers are allegedly being sent to the morgue because of the incompetence of their officers
The conversation reveals the dismal state of Russian forces that many analysts have been commenting on for some time. Pentagon officials estimate that at least 7,000 Russian servicemen have been killed in action and that there have been between 15,000 to 21,000 casualties.
Independent sources have been able to confirm the loss of at least 1,705 vehicles. Several other vehicles have been completely abandoned or lost in foolish ways, as a Russian conscript confesses to his mother: “Yesterday we decided to break [the front], we advanced through a swamp, 60 tanks sank.”
Some Russian soldiers have begun to draw a parallel between the current conflict and the first Chechen war, where Russian tanks were brutally ambushed at the entrance to Grozny:
“Damn, the same as in the first Chechen war, military equipment fucked up… tanks turned upside down, had I known it would be like this, fuck it, I wouldn’t have come.”
Other conversations reflect the dissatisfaction of Russian troops with their high commanders: “The whole company is writing refusal reports,” explains another Russian soldier to his mother, who also says, he is ready to give up his army benefits in order to get out of the fateful war. “If there is no criminal responsibility, what do I need this war for? I can’t earn all the money.”
Apparently, this soldier was a veteran of another armed conflict as he says, “Syria compared to this is a flower, a Kindergarten.”
According to the testimony of another soldier, a good part of the troops would be threatened with prosecution if they refuse to go to war in Ukraine: “I refused to go, 170 people did the same […] I don’t know, they will probably take us to the prosecutor’s office or to the Federal Security Service.”
As the war progresses, logistical problems in Russia have come to the fore, resulting in Russian troops completely surrounded by Ukrainian forces, as recounted by a Russian soldier whose battalion attempted to reach Odessa:
“We should have reached Odessa, but we didn’t, the Point U (ballistic missiles) fucked us, many people ended up dead in our units […] we stopped in a village, we were surrounded, they fucked us with mortars, for more than 4 days we were there, when they covered us with the launching of several missiles, we ran to another village and managed to escape.”