Russian commanders in occupied southern Ukraine are facing mass mutinies as regiments refuse to fight due to a lack of basic supplies and no pay, it has been claimed.
The Russian 127th regiment of the 1st army corps reportedly ignored orders to join a battle near the southern city of Kherson, according to intelligence cited by Ukraine’s southern operational command.
Soldiers who led the mutiny told superiors they could not fight because they had endured weeks of water shortages and scarce rations, all while not receiving their paychecks.
Russia’s GRU and FSB intelligence agencies ‘investigated’ the individuals responsible for leading the revolt and ‘removed’ them from their positions, according to Ukraine’s military.
The mutineers are likely to face a harrowing fate – many so-called ‘refuseniks’ are shipped off to detention centres in Russian-occupied territory where they are bullied into returning to the front lines or held in awful conditions and tortured.
It comes as Kremlin-installed local government officials in Kherson said they were forced to suspend a ‘referendum’ on whether the city should join the Russian Federation due to safety concerns amid Ukrainian counter-offensives in the region.
Russian commanders are facing mutinies from units stationed in the southern Kherson oblast as the Ukrainian armed forces continue their counterattacks
There is evidence that Russian soldiers who refuse to fight are shipped off to detention centres in Bryanka, in the occupied Luhansk region
The father of one detained Russian soldier alleged the security of such camps is presided over by mercenaries from the infamous Wagner Group – also known as Putin’s private army
The 127th regiment is just one of several Russian units which have chosen to ignore orders amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Despite the risk of ending up in a torture camp or being executed, scores of Putin’s troops have resigned from their duties en-masse, having learned the truth about the conflict they were tasked with instigating.
Others laid down their arms after enduring weeks of battle while being drastically undersupplied with food, water and ammunition.
One unit from the 113th rifle regiment of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic in June posted a video via Telegram messaging app, announcing they could no longer fight due to a complete lack of equipment and rampant disease and injury, but that their superiors ‘interpreted our complaints as sabotage’.
In the footage, the commander can be heard saying: ‘Our company overcame cold and hunger and for a considerable period we did so without material support, medical supplies or food.
‘The mobilisation of our unit took place without any medical examinations, and there are those among our unit who in accordance with the laws of the Donetsk People’s Republic should not be mobilised.
‘Many questions arise that are ignored by command… Show respect for your officers – what is there to be gained from sending your soldiers to die?’
A company commander from the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic army has complained that his men are being sent to the frontlines without food, kit or medicine
Wagner Group mercenaries are seen in Popasna, the Severodonetsk district of the Luhansk Oblast, eastern Ukraine
Meanwhile in July, the father of one Russian soldier claimed that when troops attempt to hand in resignation letters or abandon their posts, they are detained and shipped off to a makeshift detention centre in Bryanka in the occupied Luhansk region.
There they are either bullied back to rejoin the frontlines, or split up into small groups and thrown into cramped spaces where they endure horrendous conditions and various forms of torture.
‘They are keeping people there because they wanted to leave, refused to fight,’ the man told The Insider.
‘There are held in pits, tortured and things like that. That’s what people who have come from there say,’ he added, alleging the security of such camps is presided over by mercenaries from the infamous Wagner Group – also known as Putin’s private army.
Ukrainian soldiers fire, on the front line in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Sat. Sept. 3, 2022
People walk past a crater from an explosion that hit an area near the Ukrainian Red Cross Society during a Russian attack yesterday in Sloviansk, Ukraine, Monday, Sept. 5, 2022
The 127th regiment’s refusal to fight in a battle near Kherson comes as Ukraine’s military reports success in counterattacks across the southeastern front, saying they have recaptured several areas and destroyed targets including a pontoon bridge, an ammunitions depot and a Russian army control centre.
‘The Ukrainian counter-offensive is making verifiable progress,’ US-based research group the Institute for the Study of War said, noting gains in Kherson and the eastern Donetsk region.
Since the first weeks of Russia’s February invasion, Kherson has been largely under Russia’s control and is now being forcefully integrated into its economy.
Moscow-backed authorities have been for several weeks talking of holding referendums to officially join occupied territories to Russia, as happened in the 2014 annexation of Crimea.
But Kirill Stremousov, a pro-Moscow official in Kherson, told Russian state TV that ‘we will pause for now’ despite preparing for a referendum due to ‘all the events that are occurring’, amid the Ukrainian counter-offensives.
He later moderated his comments, saying the move ‘was not a pause’ because no precise date had been set and insisted the balloting would continue despite any interference.
‘The referendum will take place no matter what. No one will cancel it,’ Stremousov said.