“Putin is a fool. He wants to take Kyiv (the capital city of Russia). But there’s no way we can do it.”
Alexandr, a medic in the 237th Airborne Regiment, called Russian President Vladimir Putin ‘a fool’ in intercepted calls of Russian soldiers, which were released by The New York Times (NYT) on Wednesday.
According to the NYT, recordings of thousands of calls from the Russian army, intercepted by the Ukrainian government, included the calls of Russian soldiers dispatched at the forefront to invade Ukraine on Feb. 24, talking about the disarray, discontent, and cruelty of the battlefield to their families and friends. NYT reporters said they cross-referenced the Russian phone numbers with messaging apps and social media profiles for about two months to identify soldiers and family members.
Soldiers stationed in Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv, said in March that they killed civilians, which led to the so-called “Bucha massacre.” Alexandr told his relative, “There are limbs of civilians scattered around.” Sergey confessed to his girlfriend that his captain ordered the execution of civilians who were “walking past our storehouse” and that he had become “a killer.”
The soldiers bragged about looting. Alexandr said to his wife, “We went to a house and opened a safe with a key. There were 5.2 million rubles. Look for an apartment in Orenburg.” When his wife said he should return the money, he responded, “I’m not an idiot. I have an entire apartment in my pocket.” Asking his girlfriend, “Which TV do you want? LG or Samsung?” Sergey added, “Two guys took TVs, the size of our damn bed.”
As the war prolongs, the outrage of demoralized Russian soldiers suffering from food shortage and cold is heading toward Putin. Yevgeniy told his friend, “We received dry ration for 10 days, and we finished eating them already.” Vadim told his wife, “I’m quitting this shit. My son won’t join the army, 100 percent.” A soldier also said, “When will Putin finish all this? D*** it.”