Ethnic Conflict, Gunfights, Knife Fights, Racketeering: The Russian Army in Kherson

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The Ukrainian SBU (Security Service) reports have intercepted phone conversations of Russian soldiers in Kherson that paint a picture of complete chaos within the ranks of Russian soldiers. Not content with pillaging and murdering Ukrainian civilians the Kadyrovtsy Chechens are now preying on Russian soldiers. Drunken soldiers engage in brawls, knife fights, and gunfights. Ethnic and criminal gangs within the army fight over loot and turf.

Russian conscripts and contract soldiers hate their leaders, officers, and the brutal Kadyrovtsy Chechens. They are totally demoralized and many are suffering from PTSD. They know they are losing and they know they are just cannon fodder for Generals who have zero regard for their lives and no clue how to run a war. It’s not just attrition and loss of equipment and lack of logistics. The total lack of esprit de corps, unit cohesion and a deteriorating mental state of the Russian military is perhaps a worse threat to its effectiveness.

Plus it is probably not lost on the ethnic minorities in the Russian army that they are always at the front, while ethnic Russians and the Kadyrovtsy Chechens take up the rear where they are not only more likely to survive but where they have more time to accumulate loot:

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Even in peacetime and without the pressure of war, the Russian military is a miserable place to be. Conditions for rank and file soldiers are worse in the army than they are in Russia’s infamous prisons. Their only source for news is state channels that spout Qanon-level nonsense completely divorced from reality. Take that corrupt sad sack delusional force and throw it into the reality of the meatgrinder of Ukraine and it should be no surprise that it is imploding under the pressure.

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The shock of the difference between the fantasies spun by Putin and Russian media and their experience in the real world in Ukraine has got to be psychologically devastating. Everything they have been told and believed is a lie. They are suddenly confronted with the reality that their army sucks, their leaders suck, their officers suck and the Ukrainians are not only not rolling over in the face of the Russian invasion — they are terrifyingly deadly opponents. Superior in every way as warriors to the shambolic Russian war machine. Ukrainian civilians are not throwing flowers, they are throwing Molotov cocktails.

The Russian military’s readiness and ability to function seem to be in free fall. Kherson may be on the verge of a tipping point. Once the new American supplied Ukrainian howitzers roll in it could all come unglued in a flash. From the reports that are trickling in this does not look like an army ready to defend against a major well-planned offensive.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.





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