On Saturday, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate released audio recording of an intercepted phone call between a Russian soldier and his mother in which the soldier revealed that troop morale is so low that they’ve begun deliberately wounding themselves as a way to quit Vladimir Putin’s war, The Daily Beast reports.
In the call, the Russian soldier vents his frustrations to his mother and explains why he wants to abandon the fight in Ukraine.
“Why would they surrender? We’re on their land, “the soldier tells his mother, according to The Daily Beast. “This won’t end anytime soon. What the hell do I need this for?” At 20 years old… I’m not at all interested in Ukraine. I need to come back and resign.”
His shocked mother asks why there are no Russian troops in Ukraine willing to “defend Russia” from the West, echoing the Kremlin narrative dominant on Russia’s state-controlled news that Putin’s war was launched to stop an imminent NATO assault. But her son just scoffs.
“I had a commander… who shot himself in the leg just to get out of here. And that was in the very beginning!” he said.
“Our people are just disappearing on their own. Some of them vanished without a trace, some were taken prisoner, some are hiding, some are already in Russia,” he complained.
“They will just kill us all,” his dismayed mother replies. “It’ll be World War Four and Russia will lose!” she declares.
“Well, then Putin will maybe change his mind… There are no people, there’s no ammunition,” the soldier said, adding that his own commander had sent letters trying to get his brigade pulled out, to no avail.
In a second tapped call released by Ukrainian intelligence Friday, a woman identified as the wife of a Russian soldier can be heard urging him to “fall off a tank” so he can go home.
“There’s no way out,” she says. “Otherwise you will be there until September… They will not swap you out, because everyone is refusing.”
“Well, clearly, what kind of stupid fuck would come here?” he says.
“Fall from a tank,” his wife tells him. is just one option. “You just don’t need to shoot yourself in the leg, because who the fuck knows how that would end. Or let someone whack you on your side,” she says, so that his kidneys would get injured. “I don’t fucking know! Because you’d be able to go home straight from the hospital.”
Read the full report at The Daily Beast.