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Russian troops taking part in the invasion of Ukraine have reportedly been left in tears by orders to bomb civilian areas and have even disobeyed central command, according to a new report.
Over the course of Vladimir Putin's 'special military operation' - now entering its seventh day of conflict - Russia's defence ministry has insisted the missile strikes pose no threat to civilians, and have only been intended for military infrastructure. As witnessed by shelling of Kyiv, Kharkiv and other cities, the collateral damage has been stark, with hundreds of civilians killed.
In the past 24 hours in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-biggest city, at least 21 people have been killed and 112 injured, officials claimed. In Zhytomyr, four people were killed when missiles hit residential areas and a maternity home, according to the foreign ministry. Yesterday, March 1, a strike on a Kyiv TV tower, which also hit a Holocaust memorial site, resulted in the deaths of five people.
Another devastating Russian strike on Kharkiv. This one hit the Karazin National University’s School of Sociology which sits across the street from the regional Interior Ministry office. Video via Anton Gerashenko, aide to Interior Minister. pic.twitter.com/pzG2XsKuY7— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) March 2, 2022
In a new report from The Telegraph, voice recordings of Russian troops on the frontline of the invasion suggest they're 'operating in complete disarray', left 'crying in combat' by central command's orders.
The intercepted radio messages, obtained by a British intelligence company, include orders regarding the shelling of Ukrainian towns and complaints over the lack of supplies. One video reportedly shows troops walking back across the border.
'The only thing I want right now is to kill myself,' one soldier is said to have written in a text to his mother.
🔴 Russian soldiers are refusing to obey orders – including to shell towns – while others have walked away from battle https://t.co/HQpzwO5A7Q— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) March 1, 2022
This comes after a senior Pentagon official's claims that the Russian Armed Forces is comprised of young conscripts who've been 'ill-prepared' for the invasion, with some reportedly 'deliberately punching holes' in fuel tanks to ensure their vehicles didn't reach the heat of battle.
In one recording, a soldier on the ground is told about plans to 'cover the town with artillery fire', at which point he reminds the presumed commander that civilians need to leave the town first, and disobeys the order. In another recording, the same man who requested the shelling can be heard shouting, 'We've been here for three days! When the hell is it going to be ready?'
Morning in Kharkiv, the largest city in Eastern #Ukraine with predominantly Russian-speaking population. This is what happens when Putin comes to “protect” you. Make no mistake, #Russia is targeting Ukrainian civilians and their homes. pic.twitter.com/0McmLr4B3M— Ostap Yarysh (@OstapYarysh) March 2, 2022
The material, which hasn't been verified, was obtained by ShadowBreak. 'What we have found is that the Russian operatives are operating in complete disarray. They have no clue where they are going and how to really communicate with each other properly,' its founder Samuel Cardillo told the outlet.
'There were periods where we heard them [Russian soldiers] crying in combat, a period where they were insulting each other – obviously not a sign of great morale. There was an instance where they shot at each other, there was an instance where they had to transport dead bodies back to their forward operating bases. Many times you can hear them not at their highest level of happiness.'
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information
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