As Vladimir Putin’s “partial mobilisation” sends hundreds more Russian men to the war in Ukraine, one angry conscript has been recorded making an expletive-filled rant against the Russian leader.
The man identified, by Ukrainian intelligence sources as a Russian soldier in Ukraine’s Kherson region, can be heard in an intercepted mobile phone call telling of his contempt for “f*** face” Putin.
Telling his partner that his unit’s morale is “complete s***,”and that many of them are desperate to get home the soldier says “I need to get wounded” in order to get home.
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The man, who appears to be called Zhen, adds: “Earlier there was a joke that you’d leave here only wounded or dead. Now it’s not a f***ing joke."
Speaking of the strict penalties for men that desert from the army, or refuse to fight at all, they Russian says: “If I get lucky I’ll get pneumonia and leave."
The woman replies: “Well, Zhen, it’s just a s**t show. They are just f***ing [treating] you like meat…f***.”
The man bitterly responds that despite the leadership’s mistakes, it’s the ordinary Russian soldiers that are being blamed for the army’s failure: “And they still call us a disgrace…as if we’re lowlives and did everything ourselves and that’s why there’s mobilisation.
“Everything is because of us, basically. The plan initially was a few days and that’s it, and here we are f***ing almost eight months later.”
“F***, if they don’t give me benefits and medals after all this bullshit, I’ll go against the country [and join] the f***ing opposition.”
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Another Russian, caught up in Putin’s latest wave of conscription, complained that new recruits were being given no training before being thrown into battle.
“We were officially told that there would be no preparation before being sent to the war zone,” said the man, identified by local media as aMoscow resident named Sergei Surkov
“We are to be sent to Kherson on the 29th,” he complained, in a video clip that emerged on Russian social media yesterday (Tuesday, September 27).
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There's a steady stream of Russians leaving the country to avoid the draft. According to the EU's border agency Frontex, 66,000 Russian citizens entered the EU in the week from September 19-25 — half of them in the four days following Putin’s mobilisation announcement.
Russian independent media are now speculating that Putin may follow up by declaring martial law and closing the nation’s borders.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has slammed Russia's reservist call-up as “an attempt to provide commanders on the ground with a constant stream of cannon fodder.”
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