Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday endorsed the evacuation of civilians from parts of Ukraine’s southern Kherson region, saying that the civilian population should not suffer during the most dangerous activities in the area.
However, Ukraine has said that the evacuations include the forced relocation of civilians, a war crime, which Russia denies.
Meanwhile, according to a U.K. Ministry of Defense report, Russia’s military is likely deploying units threatening to shoot soldiers who are planning to retreat from Ukraine.
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 04 November 2022
Find out more about the UK government’s response: https://t.co/CWHuZrKery
— Ministry of Defence � (@DefenceHQ) November 4, 2022
The ministry said, “Due to low morale and reluctance to fight, Russian forces have probably started deploying ‘barrier troops’ or ‘blocking units.'”
“These units threaten to shoot their retreating soldiers to compel offensives and have been used in previous conflicts by Russian forces,” it added.
The U.K. intelligence has also reported that Russian generals have likely told their commanders to use weapons against deserters.
The defense ministry said that the tactic of shooting deserters “likely attests to the low quality, low morale, and indiscipline of Russian forces”.
“Generals also likely wanted to maintain defensive positions to the death.”
Last month, The New York Times released a detailed report on intercepted calls made by Russian soldiers in Ukraine, talking about the widespread atrocities they face and how they are displeased with Putin’s decision to invade.
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