Russians are calling on Ukraine to surrender before even being drafted into the military as morale within Putin’s ranks plummets, Kiev claimed.
Defense Ministry spokesman Andrii Yusov said men fearing conscription have contacted a surrender hotline to check how to safely surrender before being called to the front.
Meanwhile, videos have surfaced showing a newly recruited tank commander being told he will go to the Kherson frontline in two days without firing a shot at a training ground.
More footage shows two troops sitting in a field in Ukraine complaining that they have been left without food or water by their commanders, and that they would be better off fighting for the other side.
Kiev’s Generals claimed to have killed 550 Russian soldiers in the past 24 hours after conscripts began arriving at the front, underscoring the meat grinder into which Moscow’s rag-tag reinforcements are being thrown.
A newly enlisted Russian tank commander complains that he and his crew have been told they will leave for Kherson in two days because they have not received training
A Russian soldier who claims to be already in a foxhole in Ukraine says he and his comrade (right) were left without food or water and are being fired upon
In images posted online, the tank commander says: “The officials have told us that there will be no training until we are sent to the conflict zone.
Our commander has officially confirmed that we will be sent to Kherson on September 29. Make your own decisions about what to do with that progress…
“There’s been no training at all—no shooting, no theoretical training…nothing. F***.’
Mark Krutov, a journalist from Radio Free Europe, managed to track down the commander and confirmed that he is in a barracks called Kalininets in Moscow.
The man said he was a night shift worker from Moscow who was sleeping at home when soldiers knocked on his door and ordered him to the front.
Asked to elaborate on his complaints, he replied: ‘I can’t speak now, things have changed drastically, hopefully for the better’, and got in touch.
Meanwhile, other images showed two men claiming to be Russian soldiers sitting in a fox hole in a forest, ostensibly in Ukraine.
“Here we are in the woods,” the man says to the camera as his comrade sits down behind him.
‘We just got fired, they hit us from meters away. We were left in the woods… Like cannon fodder sent to the damn woods.
‘What [are our commanders] playing with this army that just doesn’t work? It’s worse than working in the Ukrainian armed forces.
‘F***ing f***ers… And none of the commanders of our team are here, they all left, they were the first to go. Now there are only us ‘contractors’.
Vladimir Putin last week ordered the conscription of hundreds of thousands of Russian men in the military and launched a plan to annex parts of the country to Russia
“There’s nothing on our machines, no supplies, no electronics. No binoculars, no thermal imagers, nothing at all. Machine gun and ammunition. And the bayonet. But there’s nothing wrong. Here we are waiting. Let’s see what will happen.
At night we are on the battlefield, on the front line. It’s across the field. These bastards left us without water. No food. Let’s see what’s going to happen.’
Meanwhile, another piece of footage showed what appeared to be a female quartermaster talking to new recruits and advising them to bring tampons.
The sanitary products can be used to close gunshot wounds and stop the bleeding if there is no medical equipment, the woman tells the new recruits.
Other items they should bring with them are their own sleeping bags, tourniquets, medicines, and rolling mats.
“Won’t they give it to us?” asks one of the new recruits.
“It’s all ours, boys,” the woman calls back. “You get a uniform and a suit of armor, nothing else.”
These are just the latest examples of poor morale and poor preparation within Russia’s ranks after Putin’s army exhausted itself in the seven-month war in Ukraine.
While Kiev is re-equipping Western weapons, Moscow has resorted to cutting the barrel in terms of supplies and equipment.
And last week, in an effort to solve Russia’s chronic manpower problem, Putin ordered what he called the “partial mobilization” of Russian military reserves.
Since then, tens of thousands of men have been sent to military bases where they have been hastily equipped and given minimal training before being rushed to the battlefield.
A woman wearing a uniform bearing the symbol of the Young Army Cadets National Movement hugs a reservist goodbye as he is shipped to Ukraine
Military reservists called up to fight in Ukraine line up to board buses as their tearful loved ones say goodbye in Sevastopol, Crimea
Russian military reservists in occupied Crimea receive an Orthodox blessing as they prepare to leave for the front lines
The UN sounded the alarm on Tuesday over credible reports of nearly 2,400 arrests in less than a week amid nationwide protests in dozens of cities against the draft order.
The former Soviet Georgia, which was invaded by Russia in 2008, said the number of Russians crossing its borders had increased daily to about 10,000 people since Putin’s announcement.
Kazakhstan, the Central Asian country on Russia’s southern border, meanwhile said nearly 100,000 people had entered the country since Sept. 21 and its leader Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said authorities would “guarantee their safety.”
Meanwhile, Ukrainian troops are advancing in the north of the country, towards Luhansk province and Donetsk.
Also on the southern front, around Kherson, there is heavy fighting, where the Ukrainian advance is limited, but there are many Russian casualties.
The attacks continued as Putin prepared to cut off parts of Ukraine and declare them to be Russian territory, as the ‘vote’ in mock referendums has ended today.
The Russian despot is said to be considering a speech to the nation on Friday announcing that Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson have voted to be part of the “motherland.”
While Ukraine, its Western backers and dozens of other world leaders have vowed never to recognize the votes, they will allow Putin to tell his own people the lie that Russia itself is now under attack.
That would open the door to further escalation, including – some fears – a nuclear attack on Ukraine or its allies.
A man in hospital is asked to put his ballot in a box as votes are being taken in mock referendums designed to annex parts of Ukraine to Russia
“Saving people in the areas where this referendum is taking place … is the focus of our entire society and of the entire country,” Putin said during a televised meeting with officials.
His spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the votes would have “radical” legal implications and that the so-called referendums “will also have security implications,” again citing Moscow’s threats to use nuclear weapons to defend its territory.
Russian forces in Ukraine have suffered serious setbacks this month, both in the east and south of the country.
EU spokesman Peter Stano announced the bloc will impose sanctions on the organizers of the “illegal” vote, following a similar move taken by the UK earlier this week.
French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, meanwhile, was in Kiev for a surprise visit to meet President Volodymyr Zelensky and underline her country’s support for Ukraine’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
Even Moscow’s closest ally since the invasion began, Beijing, after votes announced last week, said Russia must respect territorial integrity in the war.
The so-called referendums follow a pattern Moscow used in Crimea after nationwide street demonstrations that impeached the Ukrainian Kremlin-friendly president.
As then, the outcome of the vote is seen by observers as a foregone conclusion. Election officials carried ballot boxes door to door, in many cases accompanied by armed Russian troops.
Lawmakers are expected to vote hastily to annex the areas after the results were announced and Russian news agencies said Putin could sign legislation this week to formalize the land grab.