Russian soldiers captured by Ukrainian forces have said they are afraid of death by firing squad if they are returned home.
Speaking at a press conference in Kyiv, a soldier from the 2nd Motor Rifle Division said he fears being killed if he is returned to Russia, reported the Daily Telegraph on Thursday.
‘In Russia, we are already considered dead,’ said one of the captured soldiers. ‘I was given the opportunity to call my parents and they told me that a funeral for me had already been arranged.
‘If we are exchanged, then we will be shot by our own people.’
Another captured Russian soldier described on Tuesday how he was shot at by his fellow troops when they tried to protect Ukrainian civilians.
According to the captured Russian soldier, his comrade, a lieutenant, was killed by his own side when trying to save a woman in her 20s, and her mother, after Russian soldiers were given orders to fire on civilians on February 24 in Kharkiv.
The captured soldier claimed he was shot in the foot, and the lieutenant killed when other troops realized the pair weren’t shooting at the civilians.
Captured Russian soldiers speaking on March 2 said the invasion of Ukraine was in ‘complete disarray’, according to voice recordings obtained by a British intelligence company.
The intercepted radio messages indicated that troops are refusing to obey central command orders to shell Ukrainian towns and are complaining about running out of supplies of food and fuel.
Parts of the Russian military still use analogue ‘walkie talkie’ two-way radios, making them more vulnerable to interception.
The recordings are among around 24 hours of material obtained by intelligence firm ShadowBreak since the invasion of Ukraine began last week.
Other video recordings are said to show Russian soldiers retreating back into Russia after becoming frustrated.
The Telegraph reported a text message sent by a soldier to his mother is alleged to have said: ‘The only thing I want right now is to kill myself.’
A senior US defence official told the New York Times on March 1 that some troops have been deliberately punched holes in their vehicles’ petrol tanks in the hope of avoiding combat.
This week, Ukrainian authorities said more than 12,000 Russian soldiers had been killed, a number that could not be independently verified. Russia has only admitted to 2,095 casualties, including 498 deaths and 1,597 wounded.