A former senior Russian commander has claimed that some of Moscow’s forces are on the brink of withdrawing their frontline positions in Ukraine due to “collapsing morale.”
Sergey Gulyaev, who served as a lieutenant colonel in the Soviet Army, told Express.co.uk that he has been monitoring the situation in Ukraine and he is regularly in touch with Russian officials deployed in the war-torn nation.
He revealed the brutal conditions invading forces are facing on the battlefield, being “ill-equipped” and left in the trenches for months without relief.
He also claimed to have spoken to soldiers who felt they had been abandoned by their superiors and forced to buy their own military supplies for survival.
“The army despises [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, [defense minister Sergei] Shoigu, and [Chief of the General Staff Valery] Gerasimov,” Gulyaev said.
“Soldiers have to buy their own equipment from their wages like body armor, as there are no military supplies.”
‘Real Demoralizing Effect’
Gulyaev said soldiers were not allowed to take leave because of Russia’s lack of reserves to combat Ukrainian forces.
There were also incidents in which the former commander was “asked to purchase military jeeps” because soldiers “did not have access to military ambulances” to evacuate the wounded
“It all has a real demoralizing effect,” Gulyaev said, adding that the anger and low morale are already leading to acts of sabotage.
Recently, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in its latest analysis of the Ukraine war that Russian frontline units have frequently struggled with “degraded morale.”
Due to Ukrainian artillery strikes from rear areas, the invaders often “panic,” resulting in reduced combat effectiveness.
“A broken Russian frontline unit would threaten the integrity of other frontline defenses, and such a break in the Russian frontline would provide a vulnerability that Ukrainian forces could exploit,” the US think tank stated.
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