Intercepted phone calls reveal sharply-declining morale among Russian troops in Ukraine, with one confessing that his entire unit was permanently drunk to deal with their fear of being killed.
In a phone call intercepted by the Ukraine’s secret service that was broadcast by Ukrainian news outlet Hromadske Radio one Russian fighter tells his wife that vast numbers of men were asking for leave to travel back to Russia “for family reasons”, only to write applications for permanent release once they get home.
He says that of all the men he shipped out with “only six are left. Nobody comes back, everyone is fired, everyone rolls up.”
The whole unit is drinking heavily to deal with the stress of combat: “I’m thumping [drunk] the soldier told his wife, “because I’m scared. Everything is pounding here.”
PM Boris Johnson says that Putin’s invasion force will soon run out of steam: “Our defence intelligence service believes that in the next few months, Russia could come to a point at which there is no longer any forward momentum because it has exhausted its resources.”
Admiral Sir Antony David Radakin, the UK’s highest-ranking military officer, added that Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was a “dreadful mistake” and while the fighting is not yet over Russia has already “strategically lost” the war.
The invasion force is desperately short of supplies. Even early on in the war, reports emerged of Russian soldiers begging locals for food or even eating stray dogs as they were sick of their rations.
Russia is also running low on manpower and struggling to recruit enough replacements to cover its losses.
“Kidnapped” Ukrainian conscripts are reportedly being forced to man Russian frontlines as “cannon fodder” against their own country.
Pro-Russian separatists in the Donbas region are also bring co-opted into the attack on Ukraine, even if they have no military training.
One Ukrainian soldier, speaking to the Telegraph, said that the fighters being sent on “suicide missions” appeared to be “high on something” in combat.
At the start of the war, most experts expected Russia to sweep through Ukraine in a matter of days, but the war has now broken down into to a “state of attrition”, according to one expert.
Russia expert Anders Aslund told the Sun: “At the 100-day mark, the war is at a stalemate. Ukraine has all the soldiers it can possibly need, it can mobilise up to one million men.