Following the continued attacks and bombardments by the Russian Armed Forces into Ukraine, notably targeting residential areas in Kharkiv and Kyiv’s main television tower, Russian troops are surrendering to Ukrainian forces without a fight and leaving their military vehicles out for Ukrainians to recover.
According to a report done by CNN, a US official has stated that there had been evidence of “averse behavior” from the Russian troops who seem to be willing to ignore their officers and NCOs in just walking away from the battle, “You’ve seen it on the ground, where units are surrendering, sometimes without a fight,” said the US official.
— 🇺🇦 Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) February 28, 2022
This report comes after Ukraine’s Representative to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya claimed that Russian soldiers were lied to by their own government during the United Nations General Assembly. A series of text messages from an alleged dead young Russian soldier to his mother revealed that Russian soldiers did not know they would be deployed to Ukraine and thought they were in Crimea for military exercises only. The Russian soldier also texted his mother, saying that he was “afraid” and that they were bombing civilians in Ukrainian cities.
“I’m scared; we’re hitting everyone, even civilians,” said the soldier. “We had been told that people would welcome us here, but they jump under our vehicles, not letting us pass. They call us fascists. Mom, it’s so hard.”
This reveals that a significant amount of the troops committed to this fight are green recruits with no combat experience. “And they’ve got, a lot of these soldiers are conscripts, never been in combat before, some of whom we believe weren’t even told they were going to be in combat,” said the US official to CNN.
SOFREP had seen numerous social media posts that would seem to confirm this, with young Russian conscripts saying they did not know they were being sent to Ukraine to fight and thought they were on training exercises.
The sheer number of videos like this suggests that the morale of Russian troops is very low even as we note that POWs are not supposed to be used for propaganda purposes by either side in the conflict.
Abandoning Working And Armed Vehicles Full Of Fuel
Social media was flooded with photos and videos of Russian military vehicles being abandoned and in good working condition. A good example of this is when the Twitter account Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) reported that a Russian T-72B was abandoned with fuel and was in full working condition.
These vehicles are being recovered by Ukrainian armed forces and reused by their own army. Numerous videos show Ukrainians using farm tractors to tow away serviceable Russian military vehicles seemingly abandoned by elite Russian units like the Russian 4th Guards Tank Division in the area of Sumy. Some of these vehicles include a 152mm Msta-S self-propelled howitzer, 1V13 command vehicle, T-80U tanks, and numerous logistical trucks.
— 🇺🇦 Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) March 2, 2022
#Ukraine: More vehicles of the Russian 4th Guards Tank Division, destroyed and abandoned in #Sumy, including a 152mm Msta-S self-propelled howitzer, 1V13 command vehicle, T-80U tank and logistical trucks. pic.twitter.com/eXePfmkT9I
— 🇺🇦 Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) March 1, 2022
Meanwhile, reports of Russian marines just surrendering were also reported in Odessa in Southern Ukraine. Russian forces from the 810th Brigade of Russia went against orders to attack Ukrainians while making a landing at Luzanovsky beach. Ukrainian forces at that time were ready to defend their positions when the Russians had apparently contacted them and had asked to leave the gulf.
Russian soldiers are paid very little in comparison to Western militaries with an army Leuitenant pulling in less than $500 per month, an amount that buys even less with the recent 1/3 devaluation of the Ruble because of sanctions. Taking apparent advantage of the low pay of Russian troops, the Ukrainian Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov’s announced that the Ukrainian government would grant a full amnesty to any Russian soldier who deserts or lays down his arms in surrendering and pay them 5 million rubles (or $45,000).
A Russian soldier surrendered. Ukrainians gave him tea, food, and let him call his mother on video. I want to cry from how much I love my country. pic.twitter.com/ZiERQsyBbo
— Anastasiia Lapatina (@lapatina_) March 2, 2022
This offer of amnesty, with a sizable cash reward for surrendering, when combined with the impressive fighting ability of Ukrainian forces may be proving a powerful inducement, as the Kyiv Independent had reported that Russia’s losses stand at 5,840 troops. Dozens of Russian troops were killed near the city of Chernihiv. A unit of Russia’s 35th Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade, which was made up of 150 soldiers, was apparently all but wiped out by Ukrainian forces, with only 18 surviving. Most of these troops were revealed to be young men in their early twenties.
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