· In recent months, Russian commanders have likely started punishing breaches in discipline by detaining the offending troops in ‘Zindans’ which are improvised cells consisting of holes in the ground covered with a metal grille.
· Multiple recent reports from Russian personnel give similar accounts of being placed in Zindans for misdemeanours including drunkenness and attempting to terminate their contracts.
· In the early months of the war, many Russian commanders took a relatively light touch in enforcing discipline, allowing those who refused to soldier to quietly return home. Since Autumn 2022, there have been multiple increasingly draconian initiatives to improve discipline in the force, especially since Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov assumed command of the operation in January 2023.
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