Russian troops 'pleading' commanders to return says Hendrix
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Mr Hendrix reported local Ukrainian civilians had overheard Russian soldiers calling for their top generals to come back and save them via radio transmissions. The Washington Post reporter claimed that the abandoned soldiers had begun stealing clothes from civilian houses in order to hide from Ukraine’s military drones and blend in with the civilian population. Mr Hendrix told Michelle Hussain that they had also stolen bicycles and cars in order to flee from the war zone and escape.
BBC Today host Mishal Hussain said: “And what did you observe Steve about the nature of the battle in and around this place? Were the Russians driven out rather than retreated?”
Mr Hendix said: “They sort of fled in this case the senior people left almost immediately when the Ukrainian forces arrived in the area, these are the accounts of the people who live there.
“And the ones who were left behind tended to be junior, very young, the people over there describe overhearing their radio conversations pleading with commanders to return and pick them up.
“Basically they were told you’re on your own, they then went into houses and took civilian clothes to sort of conceal themselves from the drones.
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“They stole bicycles, cars they got out of there any way they could.”
Ms Hussain added: “That is so interesting though, that sense of the junior troops… Soldiers, and officers being left behind by the more senior ones.
“Were they then captured some of them by the Ukrainians?”
Mr Hendrix said: “Yes quite a number, in this particular village… The ones who couldn’t find any way to leave and I think we’re talking about hundreds of soldiers, ended up hiding in basements in this village and the one next door.
“And the Ukrainian soldiers picked them up wholesale.”
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There have been many reports since Ukraine liberated Izyum and other areas close to Kharkiv, that Russian soldiers have been losing morale.
The reports have claimed that Russian soldiers- have been absconding from the war and refusing to fight.
Other military experts have claimed the retaking of Izyum shows that Ukraine’s new offensive is working.
Russian soldiers have also been running out of supplies close to the frontlines, as supply routes have been broken by Ukrainian forces.
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The Ministry of Defence said in a report: “It is likely Russia is struggling to maintain stocks of uncrewed aerial vehicles, exacerbated by component shortages resulting from international sanctions.
“The limited availability of reconnaissance UAVs is likely degrading commanders’ tactical situations awareness and increasingly hampering Russian operations.”
They added: “Russian forces continue to suffer from morale and discipline issues in Ukraine.”
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