Senior US military officials report that only a few days into the invasion of Ukraine, the morale of Russian troops is flagging significantly.

Russian army vehicle stuck in the mud in Ukraine. Rotted tires and poor maintenance are probably contributing factors to this breakdown.

Putin’s troops have been plagued with logistical challenges, including shortages of food and fuel. This is somewhat surprising given how long they were staged before entering the former Soviet Republic.  What did they do with all that time?

To understand what underlies this lack of morale, we must look at what shapes combat motivation; the willingness to fight and die for a cause.

In this case, the answer is simple:

Many Russian soldiers don’t want to be in Ukraine

A quick social media search reveals numerous videos showing hungry soldiers forced to beg or forage for food. Some complain of not knowing where they are or why they are fighting. More than a few soldiers have expressed the belief that they were only on a training exercise.

** This Russian soldier is moved by the generosity of Ukrainian strangers. He is purportedly making a call home to inform his mother he is safe.

After considering the above, there is a critical point that we should understand.