An intercepted phone call between a Russian soldier and his wife reveals Ukrainian troops are messaging Moscow’s commanders on social media and telling them: “We’ll tear you apart.”
The call, released by Ukraine’s Military Intelligence Directorate (HUR), also reveals the apparently shocking treatment of wounded and killed Russian prisoners who have been conscripted to fight in Ukraine.
It begins with the wife commenting on the ongoing summer offensive, saying: “It’s not quiet over there, is it?”
The soldier responds: “We’ve got Khokhols [pejorative for Ukrainians] hoarding up materiel, everybody knows everything, and nobody does anything.
“They write to the commander on Telegram when there’s internet. They tell him ‘you’re f**ked’ and that ‘we’ll tear you apart.’”
The couple then move on to discussing the fate of Russian prisoners who have been conscripted into the army.
The soldier says: “They’ve been traveling longer than they’ve been fighting. When they get in, they get f**ked to pieces.
“No one is keeping track of them at all, and I’m not sure they’re being taken out of here. You can’t take convicts out of here.”
His wife then asks if they receive medical care when they’re wounded. Her husband says: “I don’t know if they get any treatment at all.
“The dead ones just lie here, buried somewhere. And that’s it – they’re MIAs [missing in action].”
He shows little sympathy for the convict recruits, adding: “I don’t give a s**t about them, as long as [we make it] home.”
The soldier then reveals he is being moved closer to the front lines “where the shooting is.” He tells his wife he is going “to dig in,” adding: “The main thing is that we get ready.”
He then adds ominously: “And we’re not ready; we have nothing to get ready with.”
The identity of the Russian soldier and his location are not revealed but many convicts recruited to fight in Ukraine fought for Wagner in its battle to take Bakhmut.
The head of the Russian mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said in May that around 10,000 prisoners he recruited to fight in Ukraine have been killed on the battlefield.
Last year, Prigozhin toured Russian prisons in a bid to convince inmates to fight with Wagner in Ukraine, in exchange for a promised amnesty upon their return should they survive.
Convicts are believed to have been used as cannon fodder in Ukraine, accounting for most of Wagner's losses.
"I took 50,000 prisoners of which around 20 percent were killed," Prigozhin said in a video.
Prigozhin said a similar percentage were killed among those who had signed a contract with Wagner, but did not give a precise figure.
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