Russian troops in Ukraine face ‘morale and discipline’ issues over pay issues, UK says

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Russian forces in Ukraine are suffering from “morale and discipline problems” due at least in part to pay issues, the UK Ministry of Defense has said.

The Russian side suffered heavy losses more than six months after its invasion, prompting Putin last month to order an increase in the number of military forces from 137,000 to around 1.15 million.

Members of the Russian military receive a modest base salary with a “complex variety of bonuses and allowances”, the British Ministry of Defense said, but there were likely problems with the payment of these bonuses. fight so far.

A convoy of pro-Russian troops moves along a road in Mariupol, Ukraine.
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A convoy of pro-Russian troops moves along a road in Mariupol, Ukraine.
(REUTERS/Chingis Kondarov)

“This is likely due to inefficient military bureaucracy, the unusual legal status of ‘special military operation’ and at least outright corruption. [among] commanders,” the UK Ministry of Defense said.

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This is not the first time that Western military officials have noted discipline problems in Russian ranks. A senior U.S. defense official told reporters in a phone call in May that “unit morale and cohesion remain an issue.”

“Soldiers do not obey orders, or do not fight as well or as aggressively as they are told or expected to do – even to the point that some officers refuse to obey orders” , the official said at the time.

Smoke rises from a Russian tank destroyed by Ukrainian forces, on the side of a road in the Lugansk region.

Smoke rises from a Russian tank destroyed by Ukrainian forces, on the side of a road in the Lugansk region.
(ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP via Getty Images)

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Russia has so far lost between 60,000 and 80,000 troops in Ukraine, according to US officials. Efforts are underway to replenish their forces.

“They did it partly by eliminating upper age limits for new recruits and also by taking in prisoners,” a senior US defense official said last month. “Many of these new recruits were observed to be older, unfit and poorly trained.”

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