Saturday, April 9, 2022

This Takes Guts

 4/9/22 Yahoo News:

Up to 60 Russian paratroopers from one unit in Pskov province refused to fight in Ukraine, according to independent Russian newspaper Pskovskaya Gubernia.

The troops were fired, and some were threatened with criminal prosecution for desertion or failure to comply with an order, the paper wrote on its Telegram channel.

Insider was unable to verify the report independently.

Pskovskaya Gubernia is a Russian newspaper known for its independent reporting. Amid the country's crackdown on independent media, last month authorities raided the paper's offices and the homes of senior employees, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Local activist Nikolay Kuzmin, who is affiliated with the opposition Yabloko party in Russia, appeared to corroborate the report on Telegram.

Kuzmin said he spoke to a driver who transported some of the paratroopers from Belarus back to Pskov, an important base for Russia's airborne forces.

Russia's military's airborne force, the VDV, has suffered heavy losses in Ukraine, which has dented their previous "elite" status.

One unit within the VDV, the renowned 331st Guards Parachute Regiment, lost its commander, Col. Sergei Sukharev, and at least 39 other members.

Russian forces have suffered heavy losses since it began its invasion of Ukraine, and reports suggest that morale is deteriorating.

The Pskov paratroopers are not the only ones reported to have refused to fight.

At least 11 members of Russia's Rosgvardia National Guard in the Khakassia region similarly rebelled, Newsweek reported, citing Russian-language news outlet New Focus.

That is gutsy in a society not known for rule of law. 


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