Once again, Vladimir Putin is walking in the footsteps of Josef Stalin, employing brutal tactics in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
According to reports, Russia has sent 280,000 individuals to Ukraine, many of whom are professional soldiers, while others are volunteers.
Over the past year, the Russian regime has become increasingly desperate in its recruitment efforts. The country has appealed to suicidal individuals, enticed young people with bonuses, and even promised to pardon convicted criminals if they enlist.
This diverse group of Russian soldiers now faces a particularly ruthless fate compared to other combatants, following brutal orders from Russian authorities.
Among the Russian soldiers sent to the most dangerous parts of the front lines are groups known as "Storm Z-troops." These units largely consist of disobedient soldiers, prisoners, and intoxicated young men. These soldiers are placed in so-called "punishment battalions," a notorious tactic also used by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin during World War II.
Stalin's approach was to treat criminals and nonchalant soldiers as expendable, sending them on what were essentially suicide missions. Putin is now reportedly employing the same ruthless methods in Ukraine.
"We receive terrible orders that are not even worth carrying out," said a soldier from unit 22179 to Reuters.
Fear of exposure
The soldiers who spoke to Reuters demanded absolute anonymity, fearing prosecution in Russia if they speak publicly about the war.
One of them stated that the men live in constant fear of being caught drinking alcohol. Those who are considered disobedient for this or other reasons are immediately added to the punishment battalions.