The footage, which is more than a minute long, circulated online on Wednesday and consists of a group of soldiers from Russia’s Yaroslavl region recording a message specifically addressed to Putin. They claimed their commander on the battlefield wanted them to back out of a mission but now accuse them of desertion.
We ask you to find a solution to this situation. The letter beginsAccording to the English translation. “The company commander ordered us to withdraw from the positions where we were bombarded by tanks and artillery. In return, the command did not provide us with cover and did not give us any support. We only had assault rifles, and all other weapons were damaged.”
They added, “Now they want to announce our desertion because the company commander said he did not issue an order to us. The matter does not concern us.”
The soldiers go on to say that when they were first in the draft office when called up in the Yaroslavl Territory, they were supposed to be in the “territorial defense”.
They said “but we cheated”. “When we came here, we entered into assaults and stayed in the front line. There was no third or fourth line as the president said.”
The footage was given to the wives and mothers of the enlisted soldiers and was obtained by the Yaroslavl newspaper Pro City.
A day before the video came out, about 10 wives and mothers went to the post to discuss their loved ones. The soldiers are reported to be between 21 and 40 years old, and have been involved in the war since 28 November.
An unnamed woman said that, as shown in the video, the soldiers were initially told they would not face serious threats because they were on the front lines. Now, the women intend to share the concerns of the soldiers with Putin, the head of the Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin, and the Military Prosecutor of the Russian Federation Valery Petrov.
“My husband is mobilized, we have three children in common,” said a woman who bore the pseudonym Oksana. Pro CityAccording to the English translation. “The children, of course, are proud of their father because he is defending his country. And our husbands did not hide from mobilization.”
“We all want to win [in the conflict]And she added, “That is why we demand the conditions for this: normal uniforms and weapons, as well as professional military personnel working in hot spots.”
The women also alleged that the soldiers’ entire paychecks went to clothing and equipment, including stockings, thermal imagers, walkie-talkies, and antennas.
told Mikhail Troitsky, professor of practice at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Newsweek It is unlikely that the mobilized soldiers could expect to remain in Territorial Defense.
It is possible that the recruits knew from the start that they would have to fight, but the conditions they faced at the front turned out to be more dangerous than they expected and their commanders felt responsible for their lives. [was] “It was much more limited than they wanted it to be,” Troitsky said.
Eight soldiers mobilized from Russia’s Kaliningrad region, who first entered battle in September, have left the front lines, ordering a taxi to take them 300 miles home. She was They were arrested and now face up to 15 years in prison On charges of desertion, a Russian newspaper Kommersant mentioned.
Earlier this month, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said that Russia had recruited residents in the town of Horlivka in the Donetsk region. Of the thirty enlisted soldiers, Four were alleged to have disabilities.
a There were rumors of a second mobilization Because of the state of war and the increasing losses.
Newsweek I reached out to the Ukrainian and Russian defense ministries for comment.
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