Ukrainian Intelligence Reports Massive Desertions in Russian Army

Written by Camilla Jessen

Apr.29 - 2024 2:35 PM CET

The rate of desertion among Russian forces involved in the conflict in Ukraine is reportedly on the rise.

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According to a report from the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, there is an increasing number of Russian soldiers deserting while fighting in Ukraine.

"Desertion is flourishing in the armed formations of the Southern Military District of the Russian army. In total, more than 18,000 Russian soldiers have abandoned their posts in the combat units of the district without permission," the statement said.

Particularly, the 8th Combined Arms Army is experiencing a significant increase in desertions. This unit, heavily involved in combat operations in eastern Ukraine, has seen about 12,000 of its personnel desert.

Of these deserters, approximately 10,000 were conscripts drafted through mobilization efforts, while the remaining 2,000 were contract soldiers.

Additionally, the 58th Combined Arms Army, also within the Southern District, has reported around 2,500 desertions.

Broader Implications

This growing issue of desertion within the Russian ranks has also been noted by international observers.

A report from British intelligence indicates a record number of cases and sentences for desertion in Russia recently.

In March alone, Russian military courts handed down sentences to 684 individuals for desertion, highlighting the severity of the issue as the conflict continues.

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