Russian soldiers are reportedly shooting themselves in the legs in order to go to hospital and avoid fighting in Ukraine following a collapse of morale.
According to US estimates, in the three weeks of fighting, Russia has lost over 7,000 troops, with the army's spirits wavering.
With reports of harsh punishments waiting for the soldiers who desert the field back in Russia, it is reported that some are taking extreme measures in order to escape the fighting.
According to Belarusian media outlet NEXTA, an intercepted Russian forces conversation suggests that desperate Russian troops are "looking for Ukrainian ammunition in order to shoot themselves in the legs and go to hospital".
In another intercepted conversation that was made public on Saturday (March 12), a Russian soldier is heard saying: "They've been shooting at us for 14 days. We're scared. We're stealing food, breaking into houses. We're killing civilians.
"Russian officers shoot themselves in the legs to go home. There are corpses everywhere. They collected eight wagons of cargo 200."
This news comes as according to American reports, Russian troops are so demoralised that they are abandoning their vehicles and walking off into the woods.
The Russian need to boost the army's morale has led to the decision to push around 20 top generals closer to the front in Ukraine.
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This has led to some unfortunate circumstances however for the Russian army, as four major generals have lost their lives in the fighting, with at least a dozen top commanders killed in action.
Evelyn Farkas, the top Pentagon official for Russia and Ukraine during Obama's presidency said: "Losses like this affect morale and unit cohesion, especially since these soldiers don’t understand why they’re fighting.
"Your overall situational awareness decreases. Someone’s got to drive, someone’s got to shoot.”
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