- Demoralised Russian troops are desperately seeking ways to get out of Ukraine
- Some tried organising ‘fake marriages’ with friends in order to be discharged
- A Russian said: ‘Either you get wounded, killed or there’s an order to withdraw’
- Troops said to be wearing winter uniforms, while others have lost water supply
Demoralised Russian troops in Ukraine are plotting ways to get out of the country including trying to arrange ‘fake marriages’, Ukraine’s intelligence agency has revealed.
Analysts say that the Russian military is overstretched, with low morale and could soon run out of combat-ready units as the war in Ukraine enters its 105th day.
A wiretapped recording of a conversation between a Russian soldier and his friend revealed officers ‘had no options at all’ and many had already made unsuccessful attempts to be discharged.
The Russian was heard to say: ‘Either you get wounded, killed or there’s an official order to withdraw.’
He added that he himself had tried to organise a fake marriage in an effort to escape the conflict.
The man said: ‘I already f****** told one of my female friends, “go submit an application to the marriage registration office. I’ll f****** tell them about it here”.
‘She said, “no f****** way, that’s not an option”.
‘Everyone here is trying any possible way [to get out] … but there’s no way.’
The audio footage was released by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), The Telegraph reports.
Increasing numbers of Russian soldiers are looking for excuses to return home as commanders tighten restrictions on leave, said a spokesman from the SBU.
According to another call intercepted by the intelligence service, a man believed to be a Russian soldier is heard to say that their water supply has stopped.
‘We’re sitting here without water. It’s been hot lately. Now there’s the heat and the guys are also sitting in shock. Morally depressed,’ the Daily Beast reports.
He was also heard to say soldiers are wearing the same uniforms they wore in winter.
Elsewhere, an alleged Russian soldier was caught in an audio clip by intelligence department of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry telling a female relative that ‘most’ men in his unit were refusing to fight and ‘trying to dash away themselves across the Russian border’.
‘Right now there are 10 people getting a [truck] ready… If there’s any b******* [they will immediately] hop in the [truck] and head towards Belgorod, they already got a canister there of diesel fuel and put it in the cargo area.
‘I already talked to them and, if anything, they’ll grab me on the way and I’ll hit the road with them,’ he said.
Last month, a Russian court ordered 100 National Guard officers to be dismissed after they refused to fight in Ukraine in February.
In his nightly video address on Tuesday night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian forces have made no significant advances in the eastern Donbas region over the past day and that ‘the absolutely heroic defence of the Donbas continues’.
Mr Zelensky added that the Russians clearly did not expect to meet so much resistance and are now trying to bring in additional troops and equipment. He said the same is true in the southern Kherson region, which Russian troops occupied early in the war.
The president also stated that Ukraine plans to release a special ‘book of executioners’ next week with confirmed information about war crimes committed by the Russian army. He said those named will include not only those who carried out war crimes, but also their commanders.