Russia may be ready to shoot its retreating and deserting soldiers in Ukraine, according to Britain’s Defense Ministry’s daily update on Russia’s war on Ukraine.
“Due to low morale and reluctance to fight, Russian forces have probably started deploying ‘barrier troops’ or ‘blocking units,” Friday’s intelligence update said. “These units threaten to shoot their own retreating soldiers in order to compel offensives and have been used in previous conflicts by Russian forces.”
“Recently, Russian generals likely wanted their commanders to use weapons against deserters, including possibly authorizing shooting to kill such defaulters after a warning had been given,” the Defense Ministry said. “Generals also likely wanted to maintain defensive positions to the death.”
The tactic of shooting its own deserters, the ministry said, “likely attests to the low quality, low morale and indiscipline of Russian forces.”
Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with several of his international counterparts – French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, and British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly – in Germany to discuss “continued transatlantic cooperation on a number of key issues, including consistent support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s brutal war of aggression” and “Iran’s military support of Russia and its violent crackdown and suppression of the Iranian people,” according to the U.S. State Department.
Meanwhile, Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised his troops Thursday as the country observed the Day of Missile Troops and Artillery and the Day of Engineering Troops.
“Ukrainian artillery became the strongest in Europe and one of the strongest in the world,” Zelenskyy said. “It will always be like that. Despite the physical advantage of enemy artillery – simply quantitative – our warriors provide better results. The advantage of our gunners is qualitative – skills, intelligence, faith in themselves and in our country.”
Zelenskyy also spoke to the daily difficulties of living in a conflict zone and asked local authorities to “ensure that there is no unnecessary use of electricity in all cities and communities of Ukraine. Now is definitely not the time for bright showcases, signs, advertisements and other such lighting.”
He also appealed to energy companies “publicly, so that everyone can hear.”
He asked the companies to: “Please be more active in explaining to people when and why you disconnect this or that street, this or that district. Now is the time for such microcommunications. People have a right to know.”
The International Atomic Energy Agency said Thursday that after having “unfettered access” to three Ukraine locations in Ukraine where Russia claimed Ukraine housed undeclared nuclear activities and materials, the watchdog could not find any evidence to support Russia’s claims.
The three locations were the Institute for Nuclear Research in Kyiv, Eastern Mining and Processing Plant in Zhovti Kody, and Production Association Pivdennyi Machine-Building Plant in Dnipro.__VOANews