We’ve long stated that Russian soldiers have grown weary of the war. SOFREP has previously featured the story of a former Russian soldier who wrote a memoir about his experiences on the Ukraine campaign, and his story also seems to ring true for other Russians. 

Pavel Filatyev (Павел Олегович Филатьев) exposed the chaos within the Russian military. No clear directives. Russian infantry is left with little to no weapons at hand. They slept on plank boards and worked around the clock. Filatyev also said that “everyone was getting angrier and angrier.”

In this series of clips, we can see Russian soldiers waving the white flag while approaching Ukrainian infantry on a Russian BMP-2 (infantry fighting vehicle). The Ukrainian Ground Forces were concealed from IFV in an undisclosed location when the troops saw the Russians waving their flag. One Ukrainian started to approach the tank as the IFV continued driving. 

When the tank stopped, the Russian soldiers were asked to dismount, with their arms up as they were encircled by the Ukrainians. Two soldiers initially came down from the vehicle. Then, the rest of the Russian crew got out. 

The IFV was then inspected by Ukrainian soldiers.

Looking at the video, it appears that the surrender was prearranged. The IFV has a white cloth over its cannon and it’s at max elevation.  One of the crewmembers also has a white flag.   Beyond the capture of the crew, Ukraine also will be adding this IFV to its inventory of equipment.

Ukraine has engaged in an outreach program on Telegram and even with leaflets packed in artillery shells to entice Russian troops to surrender on the promise of fair treatment, food, and medical attention which seems to be producing these results.

See the full interaction below. 

 

 

 

 

 

We also reported how Russian troops defied an official command to stay and defend Lyman even after Ukrainian forces had started to penetrate the city. More and more Russian soldiers were seen surrendering after Putin announced the mobilization weeks ago. Moscow announced they would be conscripting 300,000 troops, but as soon as this was announced, a swarm of middle-to-upper-class Russians were seen flying out of the country and crossing borders in the EU (Finland, for example). 

Many have also doubted Russia’s ability to support these new numbers, especially since the existing troops in the frontlines are having challenges themselves. 

“It was expensive to maintain a permanent raised military and a cadre-style type military,” said Rob Lee, a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Eurasia Program and a former U.S. Marine Corps officer. “You have to have equipment to man all of that, you have to have more officers to man all of that, and if you’re doing it right, you probably have to call up the mobilized reservists every once in a while to see that they could do their jobs.”

In another video, we can see one Russian soldier who approached the Ukrainian infantry and told them he was willing to be a prisoner of war (POW) and he quits the war. 

 

In an additional video of this prisoner, he reveals a badly infected wound to his left forearm that is infested with maggots gorging themselves on the rotting flesh of the wound.  Hard as this is to believe, it might be saving him from gangrene as the maggots only eat dead flesh and leave living tissue untouched.

We have seen widespread protests around Russia to the partial mobilization of 30o,000 troops. In a previous SITREP on the Ukraine war we wrote that many would resist or flee Russia rather than serve in this war and that many would not be combat troops but plugged into the gaping holes in their logistics chain and to guard rear areas.

 

“The social contract after Chechnya that Putin established with the Russian population was very much fought in which conscripts would not be used unless it was a war of national survival,” said Jack Watling, a senior research fellow for land warfare at the Royal United Services Institute, a British think tank. “The aim of the military was to conduct short wars and essentially to be a strategic messaging tool, a tool for projection of support to allies for foreign policy, and perhaps most importantly, a tool that the special services could apply.”

In another video, we can see a Russian soldier captured by Ukrainian troops in Luhansk Oblast. In the interaction, the Russian was fed shawarma, and it seemed like this was the first meal he’s had in days. He was also interviewed while being treated; his leg was injured during a battle. The soldier admitted that the only reason he joined the war was because they were “threatened” that if they refused to join the mobilization, they would be locked up for eight years. 

Though Russia continues to distract the world’s attention with continued threats of nuclear escalation, it is becoming more and more undeniable how exhausted the troops fighting on the frontlines are. 

In May, SOFREP Editor-in-Chief Sean Spoonts told Newsweek that we didn’t think the Russian Army could maintain its offensive posture for another 90 days. In August, Ukraine launched its counter-offensive and began to roll up Russian forces like an old rug.  We were off about 16 days in this prediction.