An intercepted phone call has brought to light the harrowing experiences of a Russian soldier deployed on a disastrous mission, shedding light on the chaotic situation and discontent among the ranks. The conversation, released by Ukraine’s Military Intelligence Directorate (HUR), unveils a tale of mismanagement, lack of resources, and the grim consequences faced by soldiers on the frontline.
The soldier, whose identity remains undisclosed, narrates to his friend Sanya the dire circumstances in which his company found themselves, unwittingly placed in the line of withering Ukrainian fire without the artillery needed for a counterattack.
“It’s just that we ended up where we shouldn’t be. What the hell did I do there without artillery? In short, they [commanders] put us in a quarry, where the fire show began.”
Describing the chaos, he details the perilous situation: “On one side of the quarry – machine guns; on the other side – drones and two f*cking mortars. They [Ukrainian troops] started beating us up from two sides. They kicked our asses totally.”
The soldier expresses his frustration, emphasizing the lack of coordination and the disastrous outcome of the mission: “Non-stop fire from literally everywhere; we are running back and forth, like idiots. No one knows where to go. It was a total f**king disaster.”
In a surprising turn of events, the soldier reveals that he confronted the battalion commander after the failed operation, questioning the responsibility for the ill-fated orders. However, his bold move resulted in unexpected consequences.
“I was talking to the battalion commander, you know, I put it straight, I said: ‘You’re going to be responsible for those who stayed there. We shouldn’t have been there. Who sent us there without fcking artillery, what the fck? Will you be held responsible for it?'”
“Sanya, and what do you think happened? I was immediately arrested. I spent 4 days in the punishment pit.”
Beyond the immediate dangers, the soldier laments the fate of his fallen comrades, expressing dismay that their bodies remain unattended, lying in the field for over a month.
“Yes. And the most annoying thing is, f**k it, the guys who died there won’t be even taken from there. Before that, we were there too, not far from Avdiivka, and we couldn’t take bodies from there either.”
“They’ve been lying there for more than a month. Foxes, f**k it, are gnawing, eating the boys.”
The soldier elucidates the grievous implications of the situation, highlighting the bureaucratic challenges faced by the families of the deceased soldiers: “In short, if there is nobody – there is no business.”
“I told him [the commander], I said take the phone, call these boys’ parents and explain to them why their kid died and where his body is. I say, explain how he died and under what circumstances. Why the f**k it happened?”
“And he starts to beat himself in the chest and says that he’s a battalion commander, like, ‘you better think about who you’re talking to.'”
“I replied: “Yes, I know exactly who I am talking to, what I am saying, why I am saying it, and to whom it refers.”
The soldier criticises the commanders, highlighting a growing discord among Russian soldiers over unrealistic combat tasks and the absence of commanders on the front lines.
“Fking assh*le, you’re sitting in Donetsk, looking at a drone, as we are being killed. You haven’t been on a single assault with us, fking douchebag.”
In an unexpected revelation, the soldier speculates about the potential end of the war, raising the possibility that it might conclude on its second anniversary around February 24.
“Well, again, you see, there are rumours that we’re going home sooner, that it all lasts until February 24, and that’s it.”
This intercepted conversation sheds light on the growing discontent among Russian soldiers regarding commanders’ unrealistic goals and extremely hazardous combat tasks. Recent intercepts by HUR reveal soldiers contemplating ways to avoid further deployment to the frontline, indicating a deepening discord within the ranks.
In one instance, a Russian soldier discloses that a portion of Moscow’s battalion has defied orders and is currently “idle in the forest, not engaged in combat.” Another conversation captures soldiers expressing frustration over not being granted leave for almost two years, discussing forming a group to return to Russia.
This isn’t the first time such grievances have come to the forefront. In December of 2023, Alexander Shpilevoy mobilized from Voronezh, recording a video calling for the rotation of military personnel and ending hostilities in Ukraine. Three weeks later, it was revealed that he was confined in a penal guards’ facility – essentially a punishment pit – in the Luhansk region.
Earlier this year, a news agency interviewed Maria*, a professional eavesdropper working for Ukrainian intelligence, who spoke about the shocking content of intercepted calls. Russia consistently dismisses these intercepts as fake. However, Maria insists they are genuine, stating, “Yes, they all are real even though they might seem insane. Sometimes I can’t believe the words I hear, but we have what we have.”
The intercepted call has opened a window into the internal struggles faced by Russian soldiers, bringing to the forefront the challenges, discontent, and sacrifices made by those on the frontline – a stark reminder of the human cost of conflict.