Tags: ukraine | russia | soldiers | morale | war

Ukrainian Official: Russian Helicopters Chasing Down Deserters

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By    |   Friday, 09 September 2022 04:41 PM EDT

A Ukrainian military official said Friday that Russia is using helicopters to chase down and capture deserting soldiers as the war there continues.

"Due to the significant losses and the unwillingness to fight, the moral and psychological condition of the occupation units is significantly deteriorating, and the number of deserters is increasing," Ukraine General Staff of the Armed Forces spokesman Alexander Stupun said during a televised address to the Ukrainian people Friday. "In the temporarily occupied territory of Kherson region, in the area of Babenkivka Second settlement, the enemy had to deploy helicopters and weapons to search for fugitives and return them to combat positions. In addition, through Kalanchak, in the direction of temporarily occupied Crimea, intensive movement of unarmed Russian soldiers was noted."

While not yet independently confirmed by news outlets, the report follows a United Kingdom Ministry of Defense post on Twitter Sunday that Russian soldiers are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the war and their pay.

"Russian forces continue to suffer from morale and discipline issues in Ukraine. In addition to combat fatigue and high casualties, one of the main grievances from deployed Russian soldiers probably continues to be problems with their pay," the ministry's post said. "In the Russian military, troops' income consists of a modest core salary, augmented by a complex variety of bonuses and allowances. In Ukraine, there has highly likely been significant problems with sizeable combat bonuses not being paid."

That agency reported that the "inefficient" bureaucracy in Russia, "unusual military status" of the operation in Ukraine and corruption are playing large roles in Russian soldiers in Ukraine not getting the supplies or pay they need to carry out the war effort.

"The Russian military has consistently failed to provide basic entitlements to troops deployed in Ukraine, including appropriate uniform, arms and rations, as well as pay," the agency reported. "This has almost certainly contributed to the continued fragile morale of much of the force."

The U.S. Department of Defense announced Thursday that it is drawing down another $675 million in military equipment and supplies to meet Ukraine's "security and defense needs."

Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department notified Congress of its intent to make $2 billion available for long-term "Foreign Military Financing" that would include $1 billion for Ukraine directly and another $1 billion for its neighbors, according to the DOD.

According to the agency, the United Stares has committed $15.2 billion to Ukraine since January 2021.

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ukraine, russia, soldiers, morale, war
Friday, 09 September 2022 04:41 PM
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