Russian Military ‘Allegedly’ Executes Soldiers Who Disobey

russia executes soldiers for disobeying
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Moscow, Russia, October 27, 2023 – The discipline and morale within the ranks of the Russian military have reached a concerning nadir, with allegations surfacing that soldiers are facing execution for insubordination and even entire units being threatened with death if they retreat from Ukrainian artillery fire. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby made these shocking revelations public in a statement from the White House on Thursday.

Kirby’s statement has sent shockwaves through the international community as it sheds light on the severity of the situation within the Russian armed forces. According to Kirby, substantial information suggests that Russian soldiers who refuse to follow orders are being executed. Even more disturbingly, it has been reported that Russian commanders are resorting to threats of mass execution to prevent units from retreating when faced with Ukrainian artillery fire.

“We have information that the Russian military has been actually executing soldiers who are refusing to follow orders,” Kirby stated. “We also have information that Russian commanders threaten to execute entire units if they seek to retreat from Ukrainian artillery fire. It’s reprehensible.”

These allegations, however shocking, lack detailed specifics regarding the executions and the sources from which the United States obtained this information. Kirby did not provide further elaboration when questioned about the alleged executions. Yet, these claims are not entirely new; earlier this year, Kyiv Post suggested that Russian troops were coerced into combat through the threat of being shot by their fellow soldiers.

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The international intelligence community InformNapalm had previously disclosed a series of conversations among Russian servicemen operating in one of the most contentious areas within the combat zone. These conversations indicated that the so-called barrage detachments or anti-retreat forces were enforcing discipline through the grim spectre of death. In one intercepted conversation, a commander ordered a group of occupiers to launch an offensive operation, emphasizing that failure would result in being shot from behind.

This dire situation has been further highlighted by a disturbing video that emerged in June of this year. The video purportedly shows three armed Russian soldiers shooting at seven or more of their comrades attempting to escape. The shockwaves from these events and allegations have raised questions about the state of the Russian military and the tactics they are employing in the ongoing conflict.

In response to these reports, the White House has expressed deep concern over the situation in Ukraine. Russia has significantly escalated its attacks near the town of Avdiivka in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region and the northeastern city of Kupyansk, aiming to shift the front line in its favour before winter.

John Kirby disclosed that Moscow has sustainedsignificant losses during this offensive, including destroying at least 125 armoured vehicles and “thousands” of casualties. “The Russian military appears to be using what we would call human wave tactics,” Kirby remarked. These tactics, reminiscent of historical military strategies, involve sending large numbers of troops into battle with the expectation of heavy casualties.

This intensification of attacks to gain ground against fortified Ukrainian positions in the eastern Donbas sector is likely to have pushed Russian casualties to near-record levels for the entire duration of the conflict. This, in turn, has led to a concerning state of affairs within the Russian military, characterized by low morale and extreme measures being taken to maintain discipline.

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Simultaneously, as Russia intensifies its military efforts in Ukraine, a wave of disinformation spreads across multiple platforms. From falsified street art to fabricated media reports demonizing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the disinformation campaigns aim to erode Western support, which is crucial for Kyiv’s war effort.

Experts note that these falsehoods are designed to provoke anti-Ukraine sentiment in Western countries and, in the process, make it appear that European and American allies are turning against Zelensky. This disinformation wave comes when Kyiv is striving to retain Western support. At the same time, global attention is diverted to other conflicts, such as the war between Israel and the militant group Hamas.

“The (disinformation) campaigns take place in multiple countries and languages, and their intensification suggests concerted efforts,” explained Roman Osadchuk from the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab). “The main objective of Russia here is to put a wedge in Western societies, polarizing them and portraying the help for Ukraine as ‘problematic.'”

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This intensification of disinformation campaigns coincides with a critical juncture in the conflict as Kyiv prepares for another potential winter bombing campaign by Russia. Furthermore, there are concerns about the fracturing of Western support for Ukraine. Slovakia’s new populist Prime Minister Robert Fico recently announced a halt to military aid for Ukraine, citing interference from Moscow in his country’s internal affairs.

Even in the United States, where Kyiv receives significant security aid, there is apprehension that opposition from hardline Republican lawmakers could jeopardize future assistance to Ukraine. President Joe Biden has been pushing for a substantial security bill, which includes significant military aid for Ukraine. Still, there are doubts about whether it will receive congressional approval.

To counter these challenges, the United States announced a new $150 million military assistance package for Ukraine, including artillery, small-arms ammunition, and anti-tank weapons. It reaffirmed its commitment to support Ukraine in its struggle against Russia.

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As Ukraine braces itself for another potential Russian bombing campaign on its energy infrastructure, which could severely impact civilians, it remains to be seen how these developments will shape the ongoing conflict. The European Union has also pledged steadfast support for Ukraine, allocating additional funds for its recovery.

Nevertheless, US officials have voiced concerns that Russian President Vladimir Putin is actively working to end American and European support for Ukraine by utilizing his intelligence agencies to spread propaganda and conspiracy theories. These tactics are part of a broader pattern of anti-Ukraine disinformation by Russia, which has been engaged in information warfare for decades, primarily focused on fostering anti-Western sentiments.

Also Read: Russia Recruits 385,000 Soldiers Amid Ongoing Ukrainian Counter-Offensive

“The Kremlin is capitalizing on war fatigue and apathy, as well as the Euroscepticism and fears of Western and Central European societies,” noted Ruslan Trad, a resident fellow for security research at the DFRLab. These developments, coupled with the complex geopolitical landscape, make it essential for Ukraine to maintain Western support while navigating the challenges of disinformation and geopolitical pressure.

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