A Russian soldier allegedly told his mother that his commander shot himself in the leg to get out of the war in Ukraine, according to an audio recording of the phone call intercepted by Ukrainian officials.
The Ukrainian defence ministry’s Main Intelligence Directory published the recordings on Saturday. In the call, a man who identified himself as Nikita, could be heard complaining to his mother about the war in the European nation.
“This Ukraine does not interest me at all. I need to come back and quit,” he could be heard saying, according to a translation by Business Insider.
“Mom, the commander of my battery of the second platoon shot himself in the leg to get out of here, in the very beginning! What are we even talking about here? And he served in Chechnya.”
The soldier’s mother asked him who would defend Russia if the west decides to advance. “Who, tell me? They will just kill us all, there will be a fourth world war and Russia will lose in it,” she said, to which the soldier responded: “Well then maybe Putin will think twice.”
The Independent has not been able to verify the veracity of the phone call.
However, multiple accounts published in the past few weeks recount tales of soldiers expressing their reluctance to continue fighting in Ukraine.
In another call reported by the Daily Beast, a wife of a soldier told him to “fall off a tank”.
“There’s no way out,” she said, according to recordings released by Ukrainian intelligence on Friday. “Otherwise you will be there until September… They will not swap you out, because everyone is refusing.”
“Well, clearly, what kind of stupid f*** would come here?” responded the soldier.
“You just don’t need to shoot yourself in the leg, because who the f*** knows how that would end,” she tells him as she advises the soldier to let someone whack him on his side so that the kidneys would get injured. “I don’t f*****g know! Because you’d be able to go home straight from the hospital.”
The Guardian reported last week that a soldier of an elite Russian army brigade refused to take a second deployment to Ukraine.
“Many of us simply did not want to go back,” Dmitri, a member of the unit who asked not to be identified, said. “I want to return to my family — and not in a casket.”
About 40,000 Russian soldiers have been killed, captured, gone missing or been taken as prisoners, Nato estimated in March.
While the current number of soldiers killed is under debate, Ukraine’s ministry of foreign affairs in April estimated that about 20,100 Russian troops have been killed since Moscow began the unprovoked invasion in February.
However, as of late March, the Kremlin claimed it had lost only about 1,351 soldiers.
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