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Pentagon: Some Russian Troops 'Refusing to Obey Orders' in War With Ukraine

Pentagon: Some Russian Troops 'Refusing to Obey Orders' in War With Ukraine
A Ukrainian serviceman walks past destroyed Russian tanks not far from the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on April 3, 2022. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 09 May 2022 06:49 PM EDT

Russian forces have failed to make significant progress in Russia's new military offensive in eastern Ukraine, partly due to "poor morale" and some troops "refusing to obey orders," a senior Pentagon official said Monday.

"We still see anecdotal reports of poor morale of troops, indeed officers, refusing to obey orders and move and not really sound command and control from a leadership perspective," the senior U.S. official told reporters. 

The official also said that "midgrade officers at various levels, even up to the battalion level" have either refused to obey orders, "or are not obeying them with the same measure of alacrity that you would expect an officer to obey."

It's been a taxing month for the Russian forces, on various fronts.

Last week, U.S. intelligence officials denied numerous reports they were helping the Ukrainian forces target — and sometimes kill — senior Russian generals.

Through another reported intelligence-sharing cooperative, U.S. information may have helped Ukraine take out a Russian missile cruiser (Moskva) — an incident that was characterized as a "high-profile failure" for Russia's military.

And for Russia's "Victory Day" celebration in Moscow on Monday — commemorating the Soviet Union's World War II defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945 — there were few signs of an imminent victory over Ukraine. 

The above occurrences might have been the impetus behind low-morale issues, or even reports of Russian soldiers "sabotaging" their own equipment.

The Russia-Ukraine war has been ongoing since Feb. 24; and according to the U.S. official, the Kremlin has had logistical difficulties with fortifying troops and moving weapons and equipment in muddy spring weather.

"It's not unusual for them to move a (Batallion Tactical Group) or two out of the Donbas back into Russia for refit or resupply and then move them back in. That's normal," the Pentagon official said.  

According to reports, Russia has 97 separate BTG units currently operating in Ukraine. Each BTG typically consists of about 700-800 soldiers.

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Russian forces have failed to make significant progress in Russia's new military offensive in eastern Ukraine, partly due to "poor morale" and some troops "refusing to obey orders," a senior Pentagon official said Monday.
ukraine, russia, putin, war, soldiers, generals
319
2022-49-09
Monday, 09 May 2022 06:49 PM
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