A unit of pro-Russian militias from the the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) issued a video in which they said they refused to fight in the Donetsk region. The fighters said they had fulfilled their duty in securing the LPR’s control over all of Luhansk, which was taken in July 2022. In its daily bulletin on the war, the UK’s Ministry of Defence wrote: “On 15 August 22, Ukrainian social media channels circulated a video which reportedly showed elements from a military unit of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) delivering a declaration outlining their refusal to be deployed as part of offensive operations in Donetsk Oblast.
“The fighters claimed they had fulfilled their duty in securing the LPR’s control over all of Luhansk Oblast, which was secured in July 2022, and were unwilling to fight in Donetsk Oblast despite threats and intimidation by senior commanders.”
The MOD’s analysts said that the Russian army was struggling to bolster its forces with new recruits in the Donbas.
They claimed that Russian commanders were resorting to direct financial incentives in order to attract new volunteers.
The researchers added: “A consistent contributing factor to these problems is Russia’s classification of the war as a ‘special military operation’ which limits the state’s powers of legal coercion.”
Russian commanders have seen their frontline forces seriously depleted after almost six months of heavy fighting.
Putin’s army has sustained massive casualties as they come up against determined and courageous resistance from their Ukrainian opponents.
Ukraine’s army estimates that around 45,000 Russian soldiers have been killed since the beginning of the invasion on February 24th.
US sources, however, say that between 75,000 and 80,000 Russians have been killed and injured during the course of the war.
The Kremlin has sought to keep a tight lid on the number of casualties.
However, anecdotal evidence continues to emerge of the heavy losses suffered by their troops.
The Russian army has started to hand out funeral notices for its fallen soldiers that were printed during the Soviet era.
Dmitry Kolezev, an editor for the Russian independent media outlet Republic.ru, wrote on his Twitter page: “Funerals printed in 1974 are brought to the families of Russian military personnel.
“Firstly, this may mean that they were not ready for such losses and modern forms quickly ran out.
“Secondly, this is a terrible symbol – young men were sent to fight for the return of the USSR, and funerals for them come straight from there, from the Soviet Union.”
The Kremlin has been scrambling to recruit more people into the army, despite its current refusal to implement a national mobilisation.
Reports have emerged of the formation of volunteer battalions in Russia’s regions.
PM calls for increased nuclear security in Ukraine [NEWS]
Kremlin propagandists warn ‘Kyiv should shake’ after Russia bombing [REVEAL]
Russia now ‘on defence’ as Ukraine puts Putin’ on back foot [INSIGHT]
Moreover, adverts have started to appear on utility bills received by millions of Russians.
The adverts promise significant financial rewards for those willing to sign up and fight in Ukraine.
Ukraine’s military warned on Monday that the country should brace for an intensification of Russian missile attacks to coincide with its independence day on Wednesday.
Commanders warned that Russia had put five cruise missile-bearing warships and submarines in the Black Sea
They also said that Moscow was positioning air defence systems in Belarus.