A Russian soldier has claimed his commanding officers on the frontlines are getting drunk and then beating their subordinates with sticks if they are found to have done the same thing.
In an intercepted phone call released by Ukraine’s Military Intelligence (HUR), the soldier begins by describing the grim situation and huge losses his unit is facing as they fend off Ukrainian attacks, claiming of 46 recent replacements, 20 have already been killed.
“We’re left with a small group of us – I’ve got four people here. Four people for 780m of forest on the line of battle,” he says.
“There’s contact five times, six times, seven times a day. They jump out of there and start hitting us as soon as possible then we retaliate.
“Right now, there is a lull so they must have sat down to drink tea or coffee. They’re going to drink and then they’re going to start again.”
The stress of the situation is clearly getting to the soldier who says that when he complained, his commanding officer said he faced two options for where he could go from there – a dry-out clinic for alcoholics or a psychiatric hospital.
The reference to soldiers drinking to deal with stress particularly rankles the soldier, who says to his friend: “They themselves drink.
“And if they find a soldier who smells of alcohol, they beat him with a stick, you know?”
These beatings can apparently be quite severe, as he adds: “We have one f**ked up commander.
“He beat one guy so much he broke his ribs and gave him a concussion.”
He concludes: “They get all the honors and medals, and we just get beat up all the time.”
While we only have the soldier’s word to go on for this incident, a recent video posted to social media purported to show drone footage of Russian troops beating each other with a large stick.
Though the calls have not been independently verified, and the exact dates of the calls are not known, the situation for Russia is difficult as Ukraine’s counteroffensive gains momentum, as evidenced by the release of such intercepted conversations by Ukraine’s intelligence services.
Previous calls include:
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