Juices are anathema to the Kremlin. The The New York Times Audio recordings from March, released on Wednesday, show Russian soldiers sent to Bautza, a suburb of Kew, talking to their relatives.
From trenches or occupied houses, soldiers secretly telephoned their wives, their brothers, their mothers. These thousands of calls, intercepted by Ukrainian authorities and later authenticated by journalists, confirm and express the distress of soldiers who do not know what they are doing there. Being war crimes.
« Nobody said we were going to war. They warned us a day before our departure,” laments a soldier. “Our attack has stopped. “We are losing this war,” said Sergei. “We ordered to kill everyone we saw,” said another Sergei. As for Alexandre, “Putin is an idiot. He wants to take the cue. But we are not likely to win (…) we cannot take Q… we take villages and that’s it. Then he continues: “Mum, this is a stupid decision by the government, I think. »
Low morale, lies and lack of equipment
Accounts of these defeats and civilian executions follow one another. The American newspaper spent almost two months translating the records and then compared the Russian players’ numbers with data from messaging apps and their social media accounts. Journalists also verified the identity of the interlocutors.
Soldiers describe the morale of the troops, the lack of equipment, the reality of their mission: all elements that led to the Russian defeat in the east of the country, in the face of a Ukrainian counter-offensive. From big jokes to bad comments, there are conversations too Criticism aimed directly at Vladimir Putin. The New York Times recalled that if they were made public, their authors could face prison terms.
“They admit to capturing and killing non-combatants, and they openly admit to looting Ukrainian homes and businesses,” the newspaper notes. Many of them want to break their military contracts, and all reject the propaganda broadcast by Russian media at home. »
“We are 400, we are 38 survivors”
Calling his girlfriend, Ilya worries about what is being said in the country. And seeks comfort, in vain. “What else do they say?” When will Putin stop all this? “Damn it,” he says angrily. “Ba, he says everything is going according to plan and on time,” his partner replies. “Well, he’s seriously mistaken,” Ilya replied.
In mid-March, three weeks after the invasion began, The Russian army suffers heavy losses. Over the phone, the players confirmed Massacre. Nikita tells his wife that 90 men were killed around him during the ambush. In a regimental shared telephone, Semyon estimates that a third of his comrades have been killed. Another describes rows of coffins containing the bodies of 400 young paratroopers, waiting to be taken home to an airport hangar. “We have 38 survivors. Because the leaders sent us to the slaughterhouse.
“The Gogols (an insult used by Russians about Ukrainians and can be translated as simpletons) Let’s move on, we’re there… I never thought I’d end up in such humiliation. This pessimism is contagious. “The atmosphere is very negative,” Andre tells his girlfriend. There one boy cries, another commits suicide. They make me tired, they make me sick.”
Some express their frustration more strongly than others. Vadim promises his friend that he will “resign”. “God… I’m going back to civilian life.” My son also won’t go to army, 100% sure… tell me he is going to be a doctor”.
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