Russian Military Keeps Killing Its Own Troops in Ukraine War, Report Says

Russian soldiers sent next door to kill Ukrainians are increasingly getting killed by their own military instead.

That’s according to the independent outlet iStories, which on Tuesday released a new report detailing Russia’s deadly mishaps on the battlefield, with drunk soldiers, negligent commanders, and the clumsy use of weapons blamed for the trend.

Russian troops have also been caught venting openly to relatives about the dangers they face from their own men in Ukraine.

In audio released by Ukrainian intelligence on Tuesday and said to capture a Russian soldier’s phone conversation, a man identified only as Aleksei tells his mother the military just sent reinforcements. He explains that the reinforcements came because “20 people are gone.”

“Our tank hit hard: It fired twice and 20 guys, fuck. I’m telling you, what the fuck kind of command is this, scumbags. They’re fucking killing their own,” Aleksei, who described himself as a commander, said.

“I’m telling you, there are more losses from our own [guys],” than the Ukrainians, he said.

Another purported soldier, heard complaining to a friend back home in audio released Monday, said it was clear the military leadership gives “zero fucks” if their soldiers come back alive.

“It’s not a war, it’s a shit show. It’s complete bullshit,” he said. “That’s it, the entire response from leadership: There are 300,000 of you, basically, we don’t give a fuck.”

“Don’t you dare come here, and know that it’s complete shit,” he told his friend. “Only on [state-run] Channel One are there fucking tanks, here there’s fucking nothing, brother. Here there’s nothing, you have no food, you drink from puddles.”

The dispatches from the battlefield have finally begun to filter through to ordinary Russians back home, many of whom have been bombarded in recent days with propaganda videos urging them to sign up for the war to earn some extra cash. Perhaps in a sign of low morale, the videos were so cringey that many pro-Kremlin bloggers began pushing the claim they were actually made by Ukraine’s intelligence services to discredit the war.

The reality on the ground is that Russia is knowingly killing its own troops even as it wages war against Ukraine, according to Russian troops interviewed by Mediazona.

Dmitry Panov, a 30-year-old Muscovite, told the independent outlet he’d volunteered to join the war in the summer but refused to fight any further after commanders mistakenly killed their own men in Novoselivka in the Donetsk region.

“We are just meat. They don’t want to know us, they present us as some kind of animals that are being led to the slaughter,” Panov said.

After commanders didn’t even bother to notify his unit that their location in the Kharkiv region had already been surrendered to Ukraine, he said, “many guys’ eyes stopped burning brightly and dimmed from the realization that we were not soldiers or defenders here, we were something else. Then we realized that we were disposable.”

That realization has begun to seep in more and more for troops slated to keep the war going in Ukraine. An entire battalion in Crimea has now refused to fight because they don’t want to “die in vain,” according to a report from Astra out Tuesday.

Relatives interviewed by the channel said the entire 127th Separate Reconnaissance Brigade opted out due to “heavy losses.”

iStories reports that some Russians killed during the war never even made it to the front line—even though Russian media claimed they had died heroically on the battlefield.

Roman Moiseyev, 25, was mourned by people in Russia’s Vladimir region after supposedly dying in Ukraine in March. The reality, however, is that he was shot dead by a fellow soldier in Belgorod, iStories reports.

While “friendly fire” incidents are typical in any war, experts told iStories the rate of Russians killing Russians has shot up in recent months and surpasses that of anything seen before.

“At the very beginning of the full-scale invasion, there were fewer victims of friendly fire in the Russian army than there are now,” Ukrainian military expert Alexander Kovalenko was quoted saying.

Such incidents are reported every day, he said.

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