A Russian soldier has said if he survives long enough to see his country’s next election he will vote against President Putin “on principle”, in an intercepted phone call Ukraine’s Military Intelligence has said "reveals the brewing civil war in the Russian Federation."
Speaking to his mother, the soldier discusses the attitude of Russian authorities towards the military, saying that "they [the Ministry of Defence] treat convicts better."
"Well, overall, it's ridiculous. It's so damn simple. You know, they brought convicts to join us, and the armed forces started recruiting convicts, like Wagner did.
"We have a company of convicts behind us on the second line of defense while we are on the front line.
“And these convicts are only there for a certain period of time, six months. Is that even normal? It feels like I've fallen into slavery, like in tsarist Russia, right?”
He then goes on to claim Russia’s most capable forces are being kept in Moscow instead of being deployed on the frontline because Putin is afraid of a civil war.
"What? Good morning, Mom! Watch more TV,” he says. “Putin left the leading forces in Moscow because maybe all this chaos will lead to a civil war.
"This is just my personal opinion because it's absurd."
He then says that if he manages to survive the war and come back home, he will "participate in Putin's elections and vote against him."
"If I live to see Putin's election, I will vote against him. I've never voted before, but I'll do it on principle, to vote against that b*tch."
While only the views of individual soldiers, the steady stream of intercepted phone calls released by Ukraine’s intelligence services provide a fascinating insight into the lives of Russia’s troops.
In another intercepted call released earlier this month, 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 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.’”
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