An intercepted phone call between two Russian men has revealed a novel means of trying to avoid being conscripted into the army – divorce. 

A transcript of the call published by Ukrainian military intelligence on June 20, appears to be an individual serving in the armed forces talking to another who is in the process of being recruited.

“You know what you need to do if your wife will sign up for it?” says the serving man. “I'll tell you in a nutshell…”

“I've been told that before,” the other replies. “Divorce my wife and keep the baby. 

Russian conscription laws allow exemption from serving in the armed forces for a man who is the “sole guardian or custodian of a minor.” 


As evidenced by the intercepted phone call, this is enough for some potential recruits to at least consider the drastic measure of divorcing their wives and taking custody of their children rather than having to fight in Ukraine.

The rest of the conversation aptly demonstrates why such a course of action would be considered as the two men discuss the experiences of fighting on the front lines.

“… Petyka has been fighting in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions for four months,” one says. “He says when it goes off, you're sh***ing yourself – the dugouts are bouncing.

“Are you getting fu**ed up from time to time too?”

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The other man replies: “At first, yeah, for two months.”

The two also discuss the heavy losses the Russian army is suffering, saying the authorities are not telling anyone the real numbers.

“And we have a lot of dead,” the serving man says. “It's fu**ing sad. They don't tell us how many [are] dead.”

The other man replies: “They don't tell us either.”

They then go on to discussing what they hope to see happen in the future – a nuclear strike on Kyiv.

“I wish the Russian forces would drop a nuclear bomb so there’s a mushroom cloud over Kyiv,” one says.


“F**k them in the mouth, all Ukrainians.”

Intercepted phone calls released by Ukrainian military intelligence have provided a revealing insight into what’s happening on the Russian side of the front lines.

An earlier call between a Russian soldier and his wife has shed some light on the huge losses suffered by the Wagner mercenary group during the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

In the call, published on Sunday by Ukrainian military intelligence, the unidentified couple discusses a recruitment leaflet she received in the post that had been distributed “in every mailbox” where she lives.

The husband then says he is “a bit freaked out” to know the leaflets are being distributed and claims Wagner is having to widen its search for new recruits as there aren’t enough suitable recruits left in Russia’s prisons and penal colonies.

He then adds: “My acquaintance, who is now at Wagner, he’s a driver, and he makes more than 15 trips a day – KAMAZ truck is completely filled with corpses.”

It’s not known when the call was recorded, but Wagner’s chief Yevgeny Prigozhin has said that his group lost 20,000 men in the battle for Bakhmut.


In its daily assessment on Monday, the British Ministry of Defense said the number of troops killed on both sides had surged since Ukraine launched summer offensive operations this month. 

"Both sides are suffering heavy losses, with Russian casualties probably the highest since the peak of the Battle of Bakhmut in March," the intelligence concluded.

Ukrainian Defense Forces claim that 220,450 Russian troops have been killed since the start of Moscow’s full-scale invasion.

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