Ukrainian officials say that in an intercepted phone call, a Russian soldier said his commanding officer shot himself in the leg to get out of the war in Ukraine.
According to The Daily Beast, in the phone call released Saturday by the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, the man, Nikita, who is identified as a soldier talking to his mother, expresses doubts about the surrender of the Ukrainians.
“It’s not going to end anytime soon. Why do I need this? At 20…I’m not at all interested in Ukraine. I have to come back and quit,” he says. “I had a commander…who shot himself in the leg just to get out of here. And that was at the very beginning!”
Newsweek was unable to independently verify the intercepted call.
The soldier’s mother then says someone has to “stand up for Russia”, the Daily Beast reported, adding, “They’re just going to kill us all, it’ll be World War IV and Russia will lose!”
The soldier goes on to say that the members of his brigade are “disappearing on their own. Some have disappeared without a trace, some have been taken prisoner, some are in hiding, some are already in Russia.”
The Daily Beast reported that in another intercepted call published on Friday, Ukrainian officials claimed a Russian soldier’s wife told him to “fall out of a tank” to get out of the war.
“There is no way out,” she said. “Otherwise, you’ll be here until September… They won’t trade you, because everyone refuses. You just don’t have to shoot yourself in the leg, because who knows how it will end . Or let someone kick you in the side.”
Newsweek contacted the Russian Defense Ministry for comment.
In another call shared by Ukraine’s Security Service (SSU) this week that was reportedly intercepted by Russian troops, a Russian soldier said the army-issued body armor was “terrible”.
In addition, the military administration of the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia reported this week that Russian soldiers shot at Russian cars to avoid traveling to Ukraine. “According to residents, in Polohy, the Russian army shot at about 20 of their cars,” the military administration of Zaporizhzhia oblast wrote on Telegram, “only to avoid going to the front line.”
Ukrainian officials also said this week that they had found Russian military documents suggesting an earlier plan to fully occupy Ukraine.