During the 1980’s and 1990’s, the world truly did fear the Soviet Union’s military prowess. This was the height of the Cold War, after all, and we were being conditioned to believe that no one was as ruthless, cunning, or cold as the Red Army.
This reputation remained long after the fall of the Soviet Union as well, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was originally believed to be something that would take no time at all. Global leaders, including those at the Kremlin, believed that the entire debacle would take less than a week.
As it turns out, all of our beliefs about the Russian army were wrong, and the Kremlin’s fighting force has been exposed as archaic, weak, imbecilic, unprepared, and just plain ineffective.
And now that morale has begun to circle the drain, it even appears as though they’re selling each other out.
A Russian colonel was accused of selling information on the whereabouts of his own men to foreign intelligence agencies by concerned Russians, according to Ukrainian authorities.
An audio recording of what the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate says is an intercepted phone call appears to suggest the colonel was not the first who was accused of selling out his own troops. The call, released Monday, includes a conversation between a man identified as a Russian soldier and a female acquaintance. No details were provided on where the soldier was based in Ukraine, but he can be heard in the recording complaining of constant shelling.
Here is where it gets odd:
The conversation then takes an interesting turn when the unnamed woman notes that a squadron of the “31st Brigade” was given up by their own Russian colonel, apparently referring to the 31st Guards Air Assault Brigade.
“The airborne troops taken captive?” the man asks.
“Yes, yes, 76 people were taken,” she says, adding that “they were sold out by their own” and naming a “Colonel Matkovsky” for the betrayal.
“There have already been many such instances,” the man responds, noting that “they leak information” about the troops.
The info didn’t come cheap, either.
“It’s true, it’s true. I later spoke with a FSBishnik [an agent of Russia’s Federal Security Service] … and he said yes, it’s all true. They found 17 million in his account,” she said.
The news comes just weeks after other revelations surfaced regarding the unwillingness of Russian troops to fight, including a number of instances in which soldiers would shoot themselves in the leg with stolen Ukrainian ammo in order to be sent home.