According to the White House, Russia is killing soldiers who disobey instructions and threatening to kill whole battalions if they flee from Ukrainian artillery bombardment.
According to John Kirby, a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, the development illustrates Russia’s morale issues 20 months into its grueling invasion of Ukraine.
“It’s reprehensible to think that you would execute your own soldiers because they didn’t want to follow orders, and now that you’re threatening to execute entire units, it’s barbaric,” Kirby stated to reporters.
“But I think it’s a symptom of how poorly Russia’s military leaders know they’re doing and how bad they have handled this from a military perspective.”
The White House has degraded and drawn public intelligence conclusions on Russian behavior during the conflict.
The administration has said in the past that it has taken action to reveal the material in order to draw attention to preparations for Russian disinformation campaigns and other activity so allies can continue to understand Moscow’s intentions and Russia will think twice before carrying out an operation.
In addition to improved air defense capabilities, artillery ammunition, anti-tank weaponry, and other supplies, the $150 million military aid package for Ukraine was also disclosed by Washington on the same day as Kirby’s comments.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated in a statement that “Ukraine’s forces are fighting gallantly to reclaim territory seized by Russia’s forces, and this additional support will help them continue making progress.”
According to the Pentagon, the package also includes a new Patriot air defense battery, 12 NASAMS missile systems, 31 Abrams tanks, and 20 Mi-17 helicopters, along with various weapons, grenades, and ammo.
With more than $43.9 billion since the war’s beginning in February of last year, the US has been the largest contributor of military aid to Ukraine.
This most recent intelligence disclosure on Russia’s difficulties comes as President Joe Biden is urging the Republican-controlled House to support giving Ukraine more financing as Kyiv attempts to stave off Russia in a war with no clear end in sight.
In his latest appeal to Congress to approve the almost US$106 billion supplementary spending request that Biden released last week, Kirby cited the data. More than US$61 billion in assistance has been requested for Ukraine and $14.3 billion for Israel.
Since President Putin’s aims are apparent, Kirby added, “we must continue to support the Ukrainian people and their right to self-defense” as long as Russia carries out its savage offensive on Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin basically said that “if Western weapons to Ukraine stopped, Ukraine would have a week to live. So, to ensure that we can continue to do that, it’s critical that Congress step up and pass the supplemental requests that the president put forward last week.”
Kirby omitted any information on the number of Russian soldiers who disobeyed orders and were put to death, as well as any particular instances of units that were threatened with death for fleeing Ukrainian fire.
According to reports, the military contractor Wagner Group had a policy of killing fugitives.
After Yevgeny Prigozhin, the contract soldiers’ leader, staged an armed uprising in June, the contract troops were expelled from Ukraine.
Additionally, there have been rumors that the regular Russian military has sent out “barrier troops” who will shoot any deserters, according to sources like the British Defense Ministry.
“They are in such desperate need to make some kind of progress, particularly in the Donbas and Donetsk areas, that they are literally throwing young men into the fight who haven’t been properly trained, haven’t been properly equipped, and certainly are not being properly led,” Kirby stated.
In an effort to advance the front line before winter, Russia has ramped up its operations close to the Ukrainian towns of Avdiivka in the eastern Donetsk area and Kupiansk in the northeast.
The White House claims were not mentioned by Anatoly Antonov, the Russian ambassador to Washington, in a statement on the Telegram messaging service.
However, alluding to the most recent US$150 million military aid package to Ukraine, Antonov criticized the US action as “provocative and inflammatory actions in the international arena that look more like pouring oil on the fire” than attempting to defuse hostilities.
“The thoughtless multibillion-dollar influx to the defunct Kyiv regime must stop,” Antonov stated on Telegram. “It’s time to stop treating the opinions of your own people with such contempt and ignore the increasing number of people dying as a result of American weapons.”
Kirby said President Joe Biden’s recently proposed supplemental Ukraine aid package needs to move through Congress quickly, explaining “time clearly is not on our side or on that of Ukraine.” Despite this alleged dysfunction within the ranks of the Russian military, Kirby called Russia’s most recent offensive “a sobering reminder that President Putin is not giving up on his aspirations to take all of Ukraine.”