An intercepted phone call between a Russian soldier and his mother suggests that Russia plans to continue its attack on Ukraine for at least the next three years.
"Basically, what they're telling us is that this crazy situation is here to stay until ’26. Russia's going to be 'reclaiming territories'," he said.
In the intercepted call published by Ukraine's Military Intelligence (HUR), the soldier also tells his mother that Russia is sending soldiers that are unfit for duty to the front line.
"Mom, let me explain. Over here, we have a man who underwent a (heart) operation in Moscow…And guess what? They're telling him he's fit for military service, that he's healthy.
"There is another boy who's almost blind. He can't even see beyond his own hands. But guess what they're saying? They're also calling him healthy."
The soldier, believed to be from the occupied territory in eastern Ukraine, tells his mother that everyone's getting lumped into category ‘F’ - fit for military service - with no exceptions.
"The only perk they get is a month-long vacation for some treatment," he said.
The authenticity of the soldier’s statements have not been independently verified.
The Russian soldier also voiced his disappointment that Ukrainians, made refugees by Russia’s invasion, have not been sent to the front line to fight on behalf of Russia.
“Naturally, everyone's pretty ticked off. You know, the Russians are all worked up because they're saying that refugees from Ukraine who end up in Russia are getting 40,000 rubles (about $408). People are like, ‘Well, if they can catch them, send them here.’ Everyone's at odds,” the soldier said.
In reality, many Ukrainians have been forcibly mobilized into the Russian army.
Additionally, previously released intercepted communications between Russian soldiers and their friends and family suggest that mothers are desperately trying to find ways to get their sons off the front lines in Ukraine, urging them to film videos complaining about misconduct from military authorities.
While the exact date of the intercepted call is not known, the situation for soldiers on both sides is difficult as Ukraine’s summer offensive gains momentum.
Ukrainian soldiers have told Kyiv Post they would fight on, but morale has been suffering with no quick end in sight.
However, the release of such intercepted conversations by Ukraine’s intelligence services indicates that Russia’s military finds itself in a much more dire situation, with soldiers coming to fear their own side as much as that of their Ukrainian adversary.
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