Alcoholism killing ‘extremely high’ number of Russian soldiers

A Russian culture of “alcohol abuse” in its Armed Forces is leading to “extremely high” instances of crime and death among their soldiers in Ukraine, the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said. In their latest daily update on Twitter, the MoD alleged that a “significant minority” of deployed troops operating and living in the occupied territories in Ukraine were dying as a result of “non-combat causes” and “heavy drinking”. While the majority of Russian soldiers are killed or wounded through combat, “poor weapon handling drills, road traffic accidents and climatic injuries such as hypothermia”, as well as “pervasive alcohol abuse”, are proving catastrophic for the sustainability of Putin’s army in Ukraine.

The MoD said: “While Russia has suffered up to 200,000 casualties since its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, a significant minority of these have been due to non-combat causes.

“On 27 March 2023, a Russian Telegram news channel reported there have been ‘extremely high’ numbers of incidents, crimes, and deaths linked to alcohol consumption amongst the deployed Russian forces.

“Other leading causes of non-combat casualties likely include poor weapon handling drills, road traffic accidents and climatic injuries such as hypothermia. Russian commanders likely identify pervasive alcohol abuse as particularly detrimental to combat effectiveness.

“However, with heavy drinking pervasive across much of Russian society, it has long been seen as a tacitly accepted part of military life, even on combat operations.”


Good morning

Good morning from London. I’m Tom Watling. I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on the war in Ukraine this weekend. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.

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