Desertions now more frequent in the Russian army, even convicts are fleeing, and there is nowhere to treat the wounded

The Russians suffer colossal losses, there is nowhere to treat the wounded, and deserters flee to the territory of Russia

30 January 2023

Fights for Ugledar continue. The invaders are trying to take the city by storm, suffering heavy losses. Hospitals in the occupied territories are full of wounded Russian soldiers; civilians are not even allowed in there to receive medical care, because the Russians are afraid of sabotage. In the meantime, the number of deserters is increasing, in particular, among the prisoners and newly mobilized, who, with weapons in their hands, flee to the territory of Russia. Andrey KOVALEV, press officer of the 112th Territorial Defense Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, told Apostrophe TV what is happening at the front now.

– Do you have any information about what is happening now under Ugledar?

– The occupiers have now stepped up in the Zaporozhye direction, also in the direction of Vuhledar, but they have no success there. On the contrary, going on the offensive, they suffer colossal losses. Now, hospitals in the occupied territories are full of wounded Russians. Medical facilities are no longer enough, so they are turning schools, kindergartens and vocational schools into hospitals.

More importantly, Ukrainian civilians in the occupied territories cannot receive medical care in these hospitals, because the occupiers simply forbade them to go there. Obviously, they are afraid of sabotage [or the facilities are already overfilled–OFP]. We also observe that doctors in the occupied territories do not cooperate with the Russians, so they have to import their doctors from the Rostov region and from the occupied Crimea.

We also record a large number of desertions among the Russian invaders, in particular, in the Kherson and Zaporozhye directions. The Russians are now, under the guise of supposedly anti-sabotage actions against Ukrainian saboteurs, conducting searches in the occupied territories, looking for their deserters. When they find them, they shoot them on the spot.

– Tell us more about the desertion by the Russians, how are they trying to leave the front line?

– Both convicts and newly mobilized people are trying to leave the front. There were facts that Russian convicts, drafted into the ranks of the armed forces of the Russian Federation, fled through the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, crossed the border with the Russian Federation uncontrollably. Local Telegram channels in the Belgorod or Kursk region often publish messages or orientations that the police are looking for deserters who simply return to Russian territory with weapons in their hands.

– And Russian detachments [barrier troops–OFP] do not interfere with such escapes?

– It is obvious that such detachments are used in the hottest spots, PMC “Wagner” uses it especially actively. And I must say that Prigozhin and his PMC are constantly in conflict with the Ministry of Defense and the Russian Armed Forces. And so, when Putin allowed Prigozhin to take Russian prisoners to PMCs, the Ministry of Defense also wanted to do the same, and they were allowed to officially recruit prisoners into the ranks of the Russian Armed Forces. Therefore, convicts are now not only part of Wagner. The Russian army suffers huge losses, so they make up for their forces, in particular, at the expense of convicts.

– There is information that the Belarusian military drove into the occupied Kirillovka, who may be mercenaries of PMCs, but they definitely cannot be told that these are regular troops. However, they have the chevrons of the Vitebsk military unit. Do you know who went there?

“Belarus continues to support Russian aggression by providing them with military infrastructure, training grounds, airfields, and so on. As for the Belarusian military, so far I have no such information. But there are suggestions that in the armed forces of the Russian Federation there are formations, in particular ground forces, which have the honorary name “Vitebsk”. Perhaps, having read the name “Vitebsk” on the chevrons, they might have thought of Belarus. But I want to remind you that a lot of formations of the armed forces of the Russian Federation bear honorary titles received during the Second World War, and they have the “Kyiv” brigade, and the “Vitebsk” brigade and others there.

It’s just that if the military from Belarus could really come there, they would probably take off their chevrons. Despite the fact that the Russians actively used their stripes in the battles for Kyiv, and now they are being removed and hiding their belonging to some part. This is done to make it harder to identify them when captured.

– How much pressure do the Russians put on Ugledar now, what resources are being transferred there?

– The occupiers are actively shelling the city and are advancing, suffering heavy losses. That’s just near Bakhmut, Russia killed more of its soldiers there than in the two Chechen wars. And heavy battles are being fought here, but Ugledar is standing, the Russians are not able to take it.

The occupiers adhere to their tactics – to level Ukrainian cities to the ground, destroying all houses. What the Russians did in Syria is now being done in Ukraine.

Sveta Gudkova


  1. Although the best case scenario would be a sudden and total collapse of the mafia army, it is unlikely to happen. But, it is nice to see desertions and other forms of resistance and the killing of their own members still being a solid part of the criminal horde.

    “The Russians are now, under the guise of supposedly anti-sabotage actions against Ukrainian saboteurs, conducting searches in the occupied territories, looking for their deserters. When they find them, they shoot them on the spot.”

    Maybe squeaky-voiced and pee-brained fascist Tucker can explain to us why his buddies are using Stalin methods in this war and shooting their own people on the spot.

    Question: Should Ukraine start putting convicts in uniforms and use them wherever cockroach convicts are being used (or wherever else)? What do you think?

    • It’s a matter for commanders. If they can find a use for them, why not?
      The Dirty Dozen movie comes to mind.
      What can be stated with absolute certainty is that Ukraine must take back and hold all its land.
      Since Russia will be a mortal threat for the foreseeable future, Ukraine needs and will continue to need one million combat troops, the same number in reserve, a modern airforce, long range ballistic missiles, an integrated air defence architecture, a navy (with subs), 50 more HIMARS; calibrated for ATACM’s, up to 1000 MBT’s, unlimited ammo and a nuclear deterrent.
      The above would be the minimum requirement.

  2. The Filthy Thirteen was the name given to the 1st Demolition Section of the Regimental Headquarters Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, of the United States Army, which fought in the European campaign in World War II. This unit was the inspiration for the 1965 book and 1967 film The Dirty Dozen. Unlike the Dirty Dozen, the Filthy Thirteen were not convicts; however, they were men prone to drinking and fighting and often spent time in the stockade.
    That being said if prisoners were willing and depending on their case and valuable skills to contribute, a rehab program of sorts could be implemented and perhaps could be a good thing.

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