Russia is Executing its Own Soldiers in Ukraine, Says US


Moscow’s forces in Ukraine have been executing Russian soldiers who disobey orders, according to the U.S.

“We have information that the Russian military has been actually executing soldiers who refuse to follow orders,” U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said at a press briefing in Washington on Thursday.

“We also have information that Russian commanders are threatening to execute entire units if they seek to retreat from Ukrainian artillery fire,” he added.

“It’s reprehensible to think … that you would execute your own soldiers because they didn’t want to follow orders,” Kirby said. “And now threatening to execute entire units. It’s barbaric.”

With Russian President Vladimir Putin’s all-out invasion of Ukraine entering its 21st month, the Kremlin’s forces have started another offensive on the eastern front, attacking Ukrainian positions around Avdiivka, Lyman and Kupiansk. Moscow’s forces “have suffered thousands of casualties in their effort to conduct this offensive, some of them on the orders of their own leaders,” Kirby said.

Ukrainian forces have managed to repel the attacks around Avdiivka, Kirby added. Since October 11, “Russia has suffered significant losses in this offensive attempt of theirs, including at least 125 armored vehicles around Avdiivka and more than a battalion’s worth of equipment,” he said, adding that more Russian attacks are expected.

Kirby said Moscow appears to have resumed the “human wave tactics” of throwing hundreds of poorly trained soldiers at the Ukrainian lines, which the Kremlin first used in the winter offensive last year.

“Russia’s renewed offensive is a sobering reminder that President Putin has not given up his aspirations to take all of Ukraine. As long as Russia continues its brutal assault, we have to support Ukraine,” Kirby said.