A group of Russian troops sent to Ukraine to fight for the Kremlin’s “new” territory is threatening to raise absolute hell over what they describe as pointless suicide missions—and they’ve made clear they’re willing to turn their weapons on members of their own team if necessary.
The draftees from Kaliningrad have already appealed directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin to complain of ancient weapons, lack of training, and people dying “for nothing.” In a video released publicly earlier this week, they shamed top military brass by saying there appears to be no battlefield strategy whatsoever and declaring that “this is no way to fight a war.”
Now, a video has leaked capturing the aftermath of their complaints. In a five-minute clip released by the independent outlet Ostorozhno, Novosti, the men can be seen surrounding a commander sent out from Kaliningrad and warning him they will put up a fight if they are not heard.
“You can jail us all! How many years is it, 5, 7, 10? We don’t give a fuck!,” one soldier yells after the commander tries but fails to convince them to obey orders and storm Ukrainian positions.
The troops say they were never meant to be part of assault teams, but were instead assigned as members of territorial defenses. The Kremlin-backed proxy troops fighting in occupied Donetsk, they say, send them on suicide missions while they themselves “run away” or sit around away from the gunfire.
They shout that they’d rather go to jail than go on guaranteed-to-fail assault missions “for who knows what.”
“Did you see that puddle of blood here? That person was sent to storm [Ukrainian positions], so he pulled the trigger, because he knew where he was headed,” one soldier says. “Do you want suicides here?”
After the commander responds that they’ve presented a “weak” argument for not obeying orders, they warn that they will use force.
“No one is going on this storm. You can fucking jail us all. And if someone tries to trick us and say we supposedly aren’t going there and then they throw us on the frontline, it will be a shitshow, it won’t be forgiven, we will just go head to head against them,” one soldier says.
“Honestly, we’re ready for that,” he says, asking the entire group: “Is everyone ready for that?”
“Yes, yes! Everyone!” the group responds in unison.
“We are so fucking angry after the deaths of our friends, … we’ll walk on foot, we’ll leave by taxi. Fight your fucking self!” the apparent leader of the group says.
He goes on to tell the commander that several other soldiers had been “taken away,” apparently after also protesting conditions.
“They came at night. What is that? Is it 1939? NKVD? Black ravens?” he said, referring to the Soviet secret police rounding up “enemies” in night-time raids.
The latest uprising by draftees is just the latest of many as the Russian war machine finds itself running out of men to use as cannon fodder. And in a particularly ironic twist, more and more of the same young Russian citizens that Putin claimed to be trying to protect from outside forces with his full-scale invasion are now being sacrificed for the sake of his conquest on Ukrainian land.
“Previously, the Donetsk and Luhansk draftees were used as expendable materials, but now it’s the Russians,” military analyst Kirill Mikhailov told iStories of the mounting conflict between Kremlin-backed troops in Ukraine’s occupied territories. “They cannot fight any other way. If the approach doesn’t fundamentally change, which I doubt, then Russian draftees will keep dying this way.”
The Daily Beast