Failure to Deploy

Over the years, I’ve known guys that have been deployed to combat zones up to nine times. That’s a lot of risks and a lot of time away from home, but it goes with the territory. It’s not like we had the opportunity to say no.

Fast forward to 2022, and some Russian soldiers who have already fought in Ukraine are refusing to go back, citing things like insufficient paychecks and the possibility they may be killed. These “refuseniks” are coming from many units, and most, for understandable reasons, do not want to be identified. However, Newsweek is reporting that members of the Russian Guard from Krasnodar have publically voiced their dissatisfaction and reasons for not wanting to return to the fight.

As I often say, look at a problem hard enough, and there will likely be a monetary component in there somewhere. This is true with the Russian refusal. On top of everything else, their paychecks are shrinking. One of the reasons for this is the growing exchange rate of the Russian ruble.

An anonymous source told Newsweek:

“Just the other day, a payment for the second month of being there came. And if for the first month they paid 100 thousand, now it’s 50. The command explained this by the fall in the dollar exchange rate—the payment is calculated from about 50 dollars per day of stay, but is made in rubles at the Russian exchange rate.” 

Nothing saps the motivation of a soldier like not being paid. However, the Russian troops are not dumb; despite their pay cut and slowed economic growth back home, most realize that the ruble’s value has soared significantly. The Wall Street Journal reports that the value of the ruble is up more than 150% after recovering from its initial crash following the invasion.

My Russian is a little rusty, but this stamp, purportedly placed in the official military service booklet of a soldier refusing to serve, says something about him being “inclined towards treason, lies, and deception.” Image Credit:

Real-Time Intelligence

Yesterday I made the acquaintance of a really interesting young Estonian guy with both Russian and Ukrainian heritage. His name is Dmitri, and he runs a site called Part of what he posts there are transcripts of intercepted internal Russian military communications. These are made available by the Ukrainian GUR Intelligence Service, and the following is reproduced with Dmitri’s cooperation and permission.

The following intercepted call was between a Russian officer of the 64th Separate Motorised Rifle Brigade and an unidentified Russian soldier of lower rank. The 64th was the unit responsible for the Bucha massacre.