Russian military morale in Ukraine has been circling the drain for months now, as the Kremlin’s troops continue to not only face a mighty resistance from the locals, but also as systemic failures in Moscow’s maneuvering continue to force more and more troops to rethink their service.
We’ve already heard some rather wild tales of Russian soldiers attempting to escape the theater of war via false marriages, desertions, and even shooting themselves in their legs, but now there are reports that some of the commanding officers involved in the war effort are taking massive sums of cash to provide military data to the Ukrainian intelligence services.
A Russian colonel was accused of selling information on the whereabouts of his own men to foreign intelligence agencies by concerned Russians, according to Ukrainian authorities.Advertisement - story continues below
An audio recording of what the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate says is an intercepted phone call appears to suggest the colonel was not the first who was accused of selling out his own troops. The call, released Monday, includes a conversation between a man identified as a Russian soldier and a female acquaintance. No details were provided on where the soldier was based in Ukraine, but he can be heard in the recording complaining of constant shelling.
Then things got weird…
The conversation then takes an interesting turn when the unnamed woman notes that a squadron of the “31st Brigade” was given up by their own Russian colonel, apparently referring to the 31st Guards Air Assault Brigade.
“The airborne troops taken captive?” the man asks.Advertisement - story continues below
“Yes, yes, 76 people were taken,” she says, adding that “they were sold out by their own” and naming a “Colonel Matkovsky” for the betrayal.
“There have already been many such instances,” the man responds, noting that “they leak information” about the troops.
And we’re not talking about any small amount, either.
“It’s true, it’s true. I later spoke with a FSBishnik [an agent of Russia’s Federal Security Service] … and he said yes, it’s all true. They found 17 million in his account,” she said.
Where the world once harbored fear of the Russian military, we now find disbelief at their ineptitude, and this latest revelation has again left a stain on the Kremlin’s formerly formidable reputation.