"Putin is an idiot": private conversations between Russian soldiers at the front reveal deep insights
Created: 09/30/2022 05:27
By: Franziska Schwarz
The Ukrainian government has recorded thousands of phone calls made by Russian soldiers.
They were in the battle for Kyiv.
Your evaluation paints a picture of the misery.
Munich - The fact that Vladimir Putin's troops failed to capture Kyiv is now a thing of the past for many observers.
Your focus in the Ukraine war is now on the recapture of the fighters for Volodymyr Zelenskyj - and the apparently miserable state of the Russian military.
But the Russian soldiers were already battered more than half a year ago.
This is now suggested by phone calls published by the
New York Times
According to the US newspaper, it obtained recordings of thousands of calls from the Kyiv region in March 2022. The government in Kyiv recorded them and they were made by Russian soldiers.
They rang their mobile phones from the front to wives, girlfriends or parents miles away.
That wasn't officially allowed.
Recording from September 20: Putin giving a speech in the Kremlin.
© Pavel Bednyakov/Sputnik/AFP)
"Putin is an idiot" was one of the nicer judgments of the soldiers.
had reporters verify the authenticity of the calls, comparing the cellphone numbers to messenger and social media profiles.
The newspaper then transcribed the calls for a good two months.
She then summarized them in places or clarified misleading terms.
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Russian soldiers in the Ukraine war about Putin: "He's an idiot"
The result: With their private conversations, the numerous soldiers calling provided insights into "a military mess just a few weeks after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine," writes the
A lack of will to fight, a lack of equipment, a lack of awareness of what mission they were sent on - all of these have now arguably contributed to Ukraine's successes in its reconquests.
But apparently it was a problem from the start.
found the following statements several times in the soldiers' phone calls from March 2022:
Criticism of the skills of the military superiors
Criticism of disrupted supply chains for their supply, with consequences such as frostbite, hunger and sleep disorders
Admissions that they also killed civilians in Ukraine
Looting of private houses and supermarkets
A desire to terminate or desert their contract
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In addition, several soldiers expressed distaste for the Russian propaganda about the "military special operation", although many feared being prosecuted and arrested if they criticized the Kremlin.
Mother, we have not seen a single fascist here... this war is being waged under false pretenses.
People live normally.
Just like in Russia.
And now they have to live in basements.
Can you imagine that?
Unnamed Russian soldier in phone call during Ukraine war
Mood of a Russian soldier in the Ukraine war: "This is a nightmare"
does not refer to the quoted soldiers by name or at best by their first names.
One told relatives: "My comrades stole the weapons from a Ukrainian fighter... their NATO weapons are better than ours".
Another commented: "Vanya, more and more coffins are arriving.
We bury one by one.
This is a nightmare.”
The relatives were very worried.
According to one soldier, according to the
, "The wives are going crazy now.
You are even writing to Putin now.”
Butscha in the Ukraine war: Soldiers' phone calls prove atrocities
Dozens of civilian bodies, some with their hands tied and signs of torture, were discovered in the Kiev suburb of Bucha on April 2-3 after the Russians pulled out.
The pictures of it went around the world.
Moscow denied any responsibility.
But the recorded phone calls suggest that the atrocities in Bucha were not an isolated case.
Our headquarters are here in a forest.
I went inside and found several bodies in civilian clothes.
I've never seen so many bodies at once in my damn life.
It's totally fucked up.
You don't see where the bodies end up.
The Russian soldier Sergej to his mother (telephone recording from the Ukraine war)
Russian soldiers in Ukraine call their families: "What for a TV do you want?"
Although Russian soldiers' morale is low, the looting appeared to be a small "ray of hope" for them, according to the phone tapes.
During the talks, their families complained about the consequences of the EU sanctions against Russia.
Media companies “disappeared” in the country, Western companies such as McDonald's, H&M and Ikea closed their branches.
The soldiers offered souvenirs from the war: “What kind of television do you want?
One from LG or one from Samsung?” one asked.