Russian troops are apparently resorting to more and more drastic methods to get themselves pulled out of Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine, in one case even checking into a psychiatric hospital, according to Ukrainian intelligence.
Newly released audio from the Ukrainian Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate is said to be an intercepted phone call between a Russian soldier based in Ukraine's Kherson region and his parents.
After telling his father that "we're all on strike here," the soldier, named only as Andrei, says everyone "is already sick of everything" and refusing to follow orders.
"They are all rebelling," he says. "Tell mom to get me a medical note saying I have hypertension. Maybe then I can go home. They already sent some others back."
His mom then gets on the phone and drops a bombshell about a family friend who was apparently also serving.
"Basically he came, or he was brought out of there, and he said, 'I'm not going any further in the army,' and that he would hide," she said.
His mother decided to check him into a psychiatric hospital, she said. His mother, she said, had "pulled strings, so that when he gets out he can still drive a car and work."
The soldier seems more interested in how the family friend managed to leave Ukraine in the first place, asking, "Who did they bring out? How did they bring them out? Do you know?"
She responds by telling him she'd heard some troops had refused to take part in the war any further and were subsequently sent back.
"They're saying that in Donetsk-find out about this if you can-they're bringing guys like us to Donetsk. They are forcing them to sign contracts, even torturing them [to do so].… They threaten them with some law and force them to take an oath and sign a contract," the soldier responds, adding that an acquaintance is in touch with a lawyer "because they illegally pulled us all in."
According to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate, the number of Russian soldiers rebelling against the war has swelled to such numbers that Russia's Federal Security Service has been planting agents within the ranks to act as informants. Those who are the most outspoken about their desire to abandon the fight are instead moved to the most dangerous areas, the agency said Wednesday.
Some Russian troops have apparently given up any hope of claiming the twisted "victory" in Ukraine the Kremlin has set its sights on.
Two troops were even caught switching to Ukrainian after they complained about the war in an audio clip of a purported intercepted call shared by Ukraine's Security Service on Wednesday.
"Every fucking night we battle with the [sabotage and reconnaissance groups].… Well, fuck, I'm fed up with everything. I want to go home," one man identified as a Russian soldier says.
After unleashing a stream of curse words, both soldiers appear to suddenly be done with their venting session before inexplicably ending their chat not with the typical Russian "goodbye," but the Ukrainian one: "Do pobachenn'a!"
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