Intercepted audio said Russian soldiers almost blew up a top general for ordering them to the front line, Ukraine says

·2 min read
Ukrainian service members ride on top of a military vehicle, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, May 29, 2022 REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Ukrainian soldiers seen in Donetsk region, Ukraine, on May 29.Carlos Barria/Reuters
  • Russian troops in Ukraine almost killed a general who ordered them to the front lines, Ukraine said.

  • Ukrainian intelligence published audio it said was of a Russian soldier describing it.

  • He said one soldier threatened Gen. Valeriy Solodchuk with a grenade.

An intercepted phone call indicated that Russian soldiers were moments from killing a top general who ordered them to the front line, Ukrainian intelligence said.

On Tuesday, Ukraine's Security Services published audio it said was from an intercepted call describing the situation.

The call, said to be made by a soldier calling his wife, described a unit in Donetsk getting into a standoff with Gen. Valeriy Solodchuk, the commander of the 36th Army, after he ordered them to fight.

Almost all the remaining 215 troops in the 600-person battalion refused to follow Solodchuk's instructions, the soldier is heard saying, even though their contracts with the Russian military obliged them to follow orders.

"Almost all of our battery refused," the man said in the recording. He added that Solodchuk started waving his gun and shooting, and that he said, "I'll whack you if you don't fucking go there!"

"Then, a kid says to him, 'Go ahead, whack!' Fuck, he pulled out a grenade, pulled a pin and says: 'Come on, shoot me! We'll blow up together.' That's it. The special forces guys also started pointing their guns at us. So, we pointed our guns at them."

"In short, we almost shot each other, for fuck's sake. He got on his bobik and left," the man said in the recording, referring to a type of Russian jeep.

Russia has seen more success in recent weeks after scaling back its war aims, which initially saw its military fail to take Kyiv.

Now, Russian forces are focusing on taking the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, where Russia has taken territory and Ukraine says it is struggling.

But the war has been extremely costly for Russia, and troops numbers and supplies are dwindling.

"Our brigade can't capture anything because there's fucking nothing left of it," the voice on the audio said of his fellow troops.

Other reports have detailed a growing number of Russian troops and mercenaries refusing to fight in Ukraine. Last week, The Guardian reported that 115 members of Russia's national guard were fired for refusing to fight.

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