Russian soldiers fighting the war in Ukraine are in disarray and crying as they are asked to “fire at everyone”, the New York Times reported, citing an official in the Pentagon. The newspaper further said that these soldiers are sabotaging their vehicles to avoid fighting.
The Pentagon official told New York Times that a significant number of the Russian troops are young who are poorly trained and not prepared for a full-scale war. They are also suffering from low morale and shortage of resources, including food and fuel, the official further said.
These soldiers have deliberately punched holes in their vehicles, just to avoid the combat, the NYT report said.
The assessment is presumably based on the statements given by captured Russian soldiers and is the reason why the 40-mile convoy of tanks and armoire vehicles near Kyiv has come to a near crawl in the past few days, the report added.
But, the Pentagon official cited by NYT, said that Russian commanders leading the armoured column may be rethinking their battle plans to push forward, and encircle and capture the Ukrainian capital.
A British intelligence agency has released intercepted radio messages, which back the claims made in the New York Times report.
The voice recordings, carried by Daily Mail, reveal that Russian troops are refusing to obey their command orders to shell Ukrainian towns.
Intelligence firm ShadowBreak has released 24 hour of voice recordings since the Ukraine war invasion began on Twitter, and said it “displays a disturbing lack of coordination between units, sometimes even firing at each other”.
One of these messages reveal a tense exchange between a Russian soldier on the ground in Ukraine and his colleague at the command centre, in which the former says they cannot use artillery on an area until civilians have left.
We also heard them cry during a fight near Kharkhiv, as heard in this recording. But also had fuel issues, trouble coordinating because lack of maps, … While also requesting air support or talking about Iskander strikes. https://t.co/ouOWie1t1G
— ShadowBreak Intl. (@sbreakintl) March 1, 2022
At the UN General Assembly session on Wednesday, Ukraine’s ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya read text messages, which he claimed were sent by a Russian soldiers to his mother just before he was killed in Ukraine.
“Mama, I’m in Ukraine. I’m afraid,” Kyslytsya said, reading the messages. “They call us fascists. Mama, this is so hard.”
Holding up the images of the text messages, the envoy added: “This was several moments before he was killed. Just realise the magnitude of this tragedy.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24. Moscow has pleaded “self-defense” under Article 51 of the UN Charter.
But that has been roundly rejected by Western countries and the United Nations itself. They accuse Moscow of violating Article 2 of the Charter, requiring members to refrain from the threat or use of force to resolve a crisis.