A Russian soldier has said he’s so frustrated with authorities lying about the real situation facing soldiers on the front line that when he returns home he’ll “burn this Russian passport” and adopt an English or American name.

In an intercepted call released by Ukraine's Military Intelligence Directorate (HUR), the unidentified male is discussing events with his mother who tells him of the latest news reports she has seen on Russian state media.

"Yesterday, there were some meetings with Putin and the Security Council,” she says. “Something secret was discussed.

“Did our guys take somewhere or break through to somewhere? According to them, they have already done what they can.”

She adds: “Somehow, there is absolutely no trust in their reports.”

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She then says that reports on Russian state media claimed Moscow’s forces were poised to retake the city of Kupyansk in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region.

“Do they really need Kupyansk?” she asks.

The soldier then ridicules the claims, saying: “We can't even secure a forest belt here, and they still want to win back Kupyansk.”

Before the war an unimportant Ukrainian town close to the Russian border, Kupyansk in Ukraine’s north-eastern Kharkiv province made world headlines in September 2022 as the high-water mark of a successful Kyiv counteroffensive.

British Defence Intelligence Update Ukraine 24 July 2024
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British Defence Intelligence Update Ukraine 24 July 2024

Latest from the British Defence Intelligence.

The Ukrainian assault surprised and broke through thin Russian defenses, liberating more than 6,000 square km. in a little more than two weeks. It was Ukraine’s most successful counterattack of the war thus far.

Russian forces re-established a fighting line to the east of Kupyansk along the Zherebets River line and have bombarded Kupyansk and adjacent villages continuously.

Russian army planners in Sep. 2023 launched renewed assaults in the Kupyansk sector, but have made little or no progress against Ukrainian defenses improved continuously since Kyiv forces took up positions there a year ago. 

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Military analysts on Kremlin state media have said the sector must be reconquered to re-establish Russian control over the region, and to force Kyiv’s military leadership to shift reserves from the primary southern front to the secondary Kharkiv-Kupyansk sector.

In the intercepted call, after being informed of US-made Abrams tanks heading to the battlefield and more incursions into Russian territory by partisan groups, the soldier’s mood darkens even further.

“When I come back, I'll burn this Russian passport, change my last name – forget it all. I'll give myself an English or American surname.”

His mother replies with a sigh: “Yes, I also agree.”

Though the intercepted call has not been verified, analysis of such conversations by Ukraine’s intelligence services indicates that Russia’s military finds itself in a dire situation in the face of Ukraine’s ongoing counteroffensive

Previous calls include:

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