Russian Soldier Morale Plummets As Exhaustion Sets In

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As the war in Ukraine passes a sad milestone of 100 days of conflict, reports from the ground by soldiers reveal that the fighting is taking its toll on both sides, with Russians forced to continue fighting through unsustainable conditions and Ukraine losing several dozen soldiers a day.

Videos released show Russian soldiers stating publicly that they’re exhausted and need a break, even as the soldiers make some gains against the Ukrainian people. Members of the Russian military are asking for a reprieve from Vladimir Putin and an investigation into the legality of their presence and conditions on the battlefields.

According to The Guardian:

‘In two videos, fighters from Russian-controlled east Ukraine complained about poor conditions and long terms of duty at the front leading to exhaustion. “Our personnel have faced hunger and cold,” said fighters from the Russian-controlled 113th regiment from Donetsk in one video posted online. “For a significant period, we were without any material, medical or food support.”’

One soldier contacted a lawyer over the legality of the Russian military’s presence in the area and complained that he had not seen his wife since the war began. Andrea, the soldier who spoke with The Guardian that:

‘I have been fighting in Ukraine since the start of the war, it has been over three months now. It is exhausting, my whole unit wants a break, but our leadership said they can’t replace us right now.’

Part of the problem is that the Russian military has not been prepared for long-term conflict, according to experts Michael Kofman and Rob Lee, who released an analysis of the military and its attack on Ukraine.

‘“The Russian military is well suited to short, high-intensity campaigns defined by a heavy use of artillery. By contrast, it is poorly designed for a sustained occupation, or a grinding war of attrition, that would require a large share of Russia’s ground forces, which is exactly the conflict it has found itself in. The Russian military doesn’t have the numbers available to easily adjust or to rotate forces if a substantial amount of combat power gets tied down in a war.”’