Russian troops are being forced into combat under the threat of being shot by their own side, newly-released radio intercepts suggest.
The international intelligence community InformNapalm has revealed a batch of conversations among servicemen in one of the hottest areas in the combat zone, suggesting that the so-called barrage detachments, or anti-retreat forces, are enforcing discipline with threats of death.
In one intercepted conversation, the commander orders a group of occupiers to go on the offensive. Otherwise, they risk being shot from the rear.
"An order from above: those who do not go on the offensive will be shot on the spot... Without any criticism, the two of us will be shot if we don't do everything (they want). Pass it on; if they don't go ahead, the whole group will be in trouble," the commander said in a reported audio conversation.
Observers note that the practice of using barrage detachments is not new. Prisoners had previously talked about it, but this is the first evidence of such tactics directly from Russian forces in the trenches.
In another intercepted conversation, recently revealed by a Ukrainian intelligence agency, Russian service members say that they are fearful of the increasing number of Russian casualties.
It has been reported that in a conversation between Russian servicemen, one was heard to complain: "It's just genocide, the sifting of people. If they don't stop it soon, we will really bring the Ukrainians to the Kremlin ourselves."
He went on to say that Ukraine has become “a military training ground where the whole world is testing its military weapons, and we were told to go there. Our losses are enormous. These stupid volunteers, who went to fight for the motherland, to save people they’re just fools led to the slaughter."
The conversation went on to express his attitude toward the war in Ukraine and predictions of the future for the Russian leadership. And he added: "That we came for peace and to protect people is all an absolute lie.”