Russian Troops Morale Crisis Expected To Intensify
Anger and Fatigue Continues, Leaked Phone Calls Confirm
Russian troops involved in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine are reportedly experiencing poor morale due to persistently poor planning and supply logistics.
The lack of morale has led to increasing numbers of soldiers refusing to serve and carry out orders, according to anecdotal reports.
These refusals follow of a summer of medical crisis, with media reports in July stating that Russia had, at the time of summer reports, sustained "200,000 casualties" since the start of the Ukraine conflict.
The lack of adequate supplies of food and ammunition, coupled with a lack of communication and preparation, has left many troops feeling abandoned by their commanders.
The Russian morale crisis has been ongoing. In 2022, a soldier known as "Ilya", then 21-years-old from Chechnya, recounted his experience in the Russian army during the failed attempt to take Kharkiv, Ukraine's second city. He described being sent to what he believed were training exercises in annexed Crimea, only to be ordered further north across the de facto border into Ukraine.
Ilya and his fellow soldiers felt like "cannon fodder," with officers abandoning their positions at the first sign of danger. Their commanders had not informed them that they were about to invade Ukraine and failed to provide adequate supplies once they were deployed.
Also in 2022, retired colonel Mikhail Khodaryonok admitted that the situation for Russia would only worsen, contrasting the high morale in the Ukrainian armed forces with the reluctance of Russian soldiers to fight.
Poor morale wears on as 2023 winds down, mingled with anger, leaked phone calls released by Kyiv showed.
Reported increasing reluctance to fight among Russian troops have caught the attention of senior officials in the US defense department. They have observed mid-grade officers at various levels either refusing to obey orders or not obeying them promptly, undermining the overall effectiveness of the Russian war effort.
Analysts of the situation expect the poor morale and anger among Russian troops to intensify, creating significant challenges for Moscow as it continues its military operations in Ukraine.