On June 14, Ukrainian military intelligence published an intercepted conversation in which a Russian serviceman tells his sister that soldiers in the Kuyanka sector in the Kharkiv region are being forced to fight or threated with “punishment” if they refuse.
The recording reveals the Russian soldier believes he is facing certain death, whether killed on the front, where he might simply be reported missing, or executed by Russian “barrier troops.”
In the conversation with his sister, he said: “They [Command] send the boys to be slaughtered. Today they sent a group, they were put down (killed), and we will go in three to four days.”
“The commander reported that the settlement was occupied when in reality it had not been occupied, and the commander said to occupy it however they want, so they are making our guys go there.”
“Can you write a complaint about the guys being sent like this with no cover and no shelter? Then they [Command] can’t get them [the dead bodies] out, and that’s why their dead bodies are still lying there, just reported missing.”
“Today the guys were told to go to the frontline and dig themselves in. They didn't even get there totally f**ked [killed].
“The remnants here going in before us are backing off and saying to Command - We won't go [fight on the frontline]. Do whatever you want. And they [Command] just beat them up; they say you will go there, either here or there you’ll be f**ked.”
“The guys here are going crazy – saying ‘break my arm or leg so they can take me to the hospital and I don't have to go there [to the front].’”
Earlier this week, a drone video appeared online and seemed to show three armed Russian soldiers confronting seven retreating Russian soldiers, of whom six had discarded their weapons, and most had thrown away their helmets. Then three other armed men are seen to fire into the air and, possibly, directly at two of the retreating soldiers.
A major Ukrainian news agency confirmed the drone video’s authenticity and said that “barrier troops” are units with the mission of preventing soldiers from running away from the battle.
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