A Russian soldier has been overheard in an intercepted phone call describing how half a battalion of Moscow’s troops refused orders and now “are just sitting around in the forest, not fighting.”

In the conversation released by Ukraine's Military Intelligence Directorate (HUR), the man tells his friend Max that he was made to look like an “idiot” by his district commander – nicknamed Wolf – who appears to have learned of the situation before him.

But it’s not clear from the call whether or not the men were refusing to fight or if Wolf had made the situation up in order to blame them for the lack of success in his district.

“Wolf said that half a battalion f**ked off somewhere in the forest and are just sitting around, not fighting," he says.


The soldier – who appears to have been in charge of the men but didn’t know that some had apparently deserted – tried in vain to defend himself.

“And I say, no, everyone is in position,” he says, adding: “In short, they all made me look like a complete f**king idiot that I was not aware of the situation.”

He adds: “The Wolf is a douchebag. He said there are no successes because the entire third battalion completely refused to fight.

“And now our battalion is just the most f**ked up for everyone. What am I supposed to say when everyone is slagging off our battalion?”

Potential Russian Assault on Sumy Region – Ukraine Border Guard
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Potential Russian Assault on Sumy Region – Ukraine Border Guard

The Russians may launch an offensive in this sector to distract Ukrainian forces from other areas of the front.

A Russian battalion consists of four companies and comprises anywhere from 250-1000 men.

During the call, the soldier also begs Max to help him get away from the front, telling him to go to Wolf and make up a story about how he is needed elsewhere.

“Max, help me,” he says.

“Contact Wolf and tell him that you need something to get me the f**k out of here. I’m f**king sick of everyone here.”

Discord over the war's duration and intensity is appears to be growing among Russian soldiers.


In a number of conversations recently intercepted by HUR, they discuss ways to give up serving and avoid further deployment to the frontline while civilians panic about being conscripted.

For example, two Russian soldiers have been heard in an intercepted call complaining about not being given leave in almost two years and saying that “soon we'll gather a crowd and head towards Russia.”

“B**ch, we haven't been on vacation for years and f**k it,” one of the soldiers said.

In the latest development, on Dec. 19, Alexander Shpilevoy, mobilized from Voronezh, recorded a video calling for the rotation of military personnel and an end to hostilities in Ukraine.

Three weeks later, it was revealed that he was confined in a penal guards' facility – basically a punishment pit – in the Luhansk region.

Shpilevoy mentioned in the video that he decided to make his appeal after watching a live line with Vladimir Putin.

"Peace or the continuation of hostilities? Definitely peace. That's what most citizens want. But the mobilized want it a hundred times more than ordinary civilians. And our president does not want to give it," Shpilevoy said in a video address.


As the video started spreading on Russian social media, Shpilevoy reportedly faced threats. Upon his return from vacation to the front at the end of December, his family lost contact with him.

Concerns about his well-being led a friend to contact the military unit, which insisted he was on a combat mission.

However, on Jan. 7, the "Diary of a Cossack" Telegram channel disclosed that Shpilevoy had been placed in a "pit for punishment."

Earlier this year, Kyiv Post interviewed Maria* who works as one of Ukrainian intelligence’s professional eavesdroppers and spoke about the shocking things she hears.

Russia regularly dismisses the content of intercepted calls published by Ukraine, saying they are faked, a claim Kyiv Post put to Maria. She said: “Yes, they all are real even though they might seem insane. Sometimes I can’t believe the words I’m hearing myself, but we have what we have.”

Kyiv Post regularly reposts some of the most revealing and shocking intercepted conversations.

You can read some of them by clicking on the links below:

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