The war in Ukraine has been going on for almost five months. Russian President Vladimir Putin, 69, sent thousands of soldiers into battle. But now the motivation and combat morale of Russian soldiers is falling more and more. Many of them are ending their contracts and want to go home soon. But it doesn’t work that easily.
17 Russian soldiers who refused to continue fighting in Ukraine and resigned three weeks ago are still being held in the Luhansk region. The head of the legal department of the “Free Buryatia” foundation, lawyer Andrey Rinchino, says in an interview with the portal. “Mediazona”.
According to him, these are soldiers who signed short-term contracts with the Russian Ministry of Defense.
Dismissed but back to front
Referring to one of the soldiers, the lawyer says that a week after they were dismissed, they were sent back to the Luhansk front. “We went even though we had no equipment,” the lawyer quoted one soldier as saying. On the way, the car carrying the soldiers broke down and the men were left on the side of the road.
They finally decided to go home on their own, but were arrested by the Russian military military police in the Ukrainian city of Pervomesk. The soldiers’ passports and military identification cards were confiscated and they themselves were taken to the headquarters in Alchevsk, 40 kilometers from Luhansk. There they were given mattresses and kept in the room. No one explained why they were arrested.
As Rinchino points out, among those imprisoned in Alsevsk are those whose contracts have already expired. At least two of them are from Tuva in the Siberian republic, while others are from Rostov or Buryatia.
“You have absolutely no motivation”
Meanwhile, other players from Buryatia were lucky. Russian journalist Alexandra Karmashapova said in an interview with Freedom UA-TV, a program of several Ukrainian television channels that broadcasts news 24/7, that 150 Buryats managed to return home over the weekend. These are players who have completed their contracts. But the road to get there was rocky. By the end of June, the wives of these men had attracted public attention. They demanded that their husbands – who were not allowed to leave Ukraine immediately after the deal – were finally allowed to go home.
Karmashapova points out that although terminating a treaty is legal, in reality it is not easy for men to leave war. The men would be threatened with being sued for leaving, or would have their layoffs ignored. “Higher officials take advantage of the fact that men – often very young soldiers – are completely unaware of the law and their rights.”
In total, Karmashapova speaks of about 500 soldiers from the region known to have lost interest in the war. “They have absolutely no motivation.”
According to the journalist, small resistance movements are currently emerging, especially in regions with ethnic minorities such as Buryatia, Tuva and Kalmykia.
Relatives encourage players to break their contracts
Audio recordings released by the Ukrainian secret service are said to show what the situation on the front is like from the point of view of Russian soldiers. Recently, an alleged conversation between an unidentified soldier in the Russian army and his wife came to light. The man says that if he does it from front to back, he’ll make sure he doesn’t have to go back. The woman supports him in his decision and talks about other players who submitted their reports and ultimately failed.
“The commanders loaded the soldiers into trucks and told them they were being taken to the airport to go home. Instead, they were driven in the direction of Ukraine.” Realizing something was wrong, the soldiers jumped straight out of their vehicles. However, before they were rescued, they managed to call their families and inform them of what had happened. It was not clear from the conversation whether subsequent visits by the families to authorities achieved anything or whether the men were still stuck in Ukraine.
A soldier’s wife promises her husband that if he does not let him go, she will stir up trouble with other soldiers’ wives. “I don’t know if that will do anything, but at least it’s better than sitting there and doing nothing.”
Another Secret Service recording, uploaded to YouTube nearly two weeks ago, purports to be a conversation between a Russian soldier and his mother. Accordingly, the youngster informs that he along with other comrades has submitted a notice of dismissal and since then he has been waiting for the decision. “People here refuse to obey orders,” says a man named Edward. Amma also promises to take action and write a letter to the authorities.
Prisoners are employed
With heavy losses at the front and reluctance of soldiers to continue fighting in the war, the government in the Kremlin has had to find other ways to motivate the army. Now there are reports that even prisoners are being recruited.
Russian NGO Gulagu.net reported that FSB men and those associated with Wagner militias visit detention centers and offer tasks or jobs to restore occupied Ukrainian territories.
Prisoners are to be drawn into war with large sums of money. 200,000 rubles (CHF 3,100) and amnesty for six months of work. In addition, the Wagner men are promising five million rubles (78,350 francs) in compensation to families in the event of a death. Apparently the prisoners think they have nothing to lose anyway. According to “Gulagu.net”, about 300 prisoners in the southern Russian republic of Adygea have agreed to join the armed forces. And in the worst case, the money will kill the promises. (Male)
“Wannabe pop culture fanatic. Zombie advocate. Entrepreneur. Internet evangelist. Alcohol fanatic. Typical travel buff.”