Russian Defense Ministry video from the war in Ukraine shows Moscow’s forces moving, gaining territory, and defeating Kiev’s forces. But the reality – at least in some cases – is different.
Some Russian soldiers say they are mobilized from Irkutsk in Siberia – and they refuse to fight.
“Because of the current situation, we find ourselves in a desperate situation because the leaders don’t care about our lives,” says one of them. “We are asking for help. We have nowhere else to go.”
The video was released as the Ukrainians say they have destroyed Russian forces trying to assault Voldar in eastern Ukraine, and after a public spat between Yevgeny Prigozhin of Wagner’s private military company and the Russian Defense Ministry over ammunition supplies to Wagner’s mercenaries around Bakhmut.
And while Prigozhin says that the problem has been resolved – he has attacked the Ministry of Defense again. “A lot of ex-soldiers who are now part of Wagner came here because they were looking for more creative freedom because everyone understands that the army doesn’t always allow it,” he said in a video.
Wagner’s forces say they gained ground around Bakhmut this weekend, while Russian state television has released drone footage of the utter devastation there – while the Ukrainians claim Wagner’s losses are enormous.
While it is difficult to make progress for Prigozhin’s army, Russian President Vladimir Putin shows no signs of backing down – instead declaring the Ukraine war to be a struggle with the West, saying in an interview: “They have one goal – the dismantling of the former Soviet Union and its main part – “The Russian Federation. Why? To push the remnants and put them under their direct control.”
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