[imagesource: Stringer / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images]
Being a soldier in the midst of a battle means never letting your guard down.
Over the past month, we have learnt that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine hasn’t been executed with the sort of precision and effectiveness that President Vladimir Putin would have hoped for.
In fact, there are reports of freezing Russian soldiers ill-prepared for the frigid conditions in Ukraine.
Now you can add a soldier being arrested while taking a dump to the embarrassing catalogue of stories, reports The Telegraph.
Private Volodymyr, serving on the outskirts of Kyiv, has been captured after sneaking into some woods:
But while it might have been preferable to the cramped cubicle of a Russian armoured vehicle, his al fresco ablutions meant he dropped his guard along with his trousers. He was spotted by a passing Ukrainian defence patrol and taken prisoner, giving a new meaning to the phrase “Missing in Action”.
“He’d wandered about 500 yards from his position and had just unbuckled his trousers to take a sh–,” laughed Pavlo Maksym, a sergeant with a Ukrainian civil defence militia in the village of Stoyanka, on Kyiv’s western flank.
“We crept up on him, pointed our guns at him and told him to keep quiet. It was a gamble because if he’d made a noise he could have given us away to the Russian positions, but he didn’t – he was just a young kid who didn’t know what he was doing.”
Russian soldiers don’t really have much of a choice when Putin orders them to invade a neighbouring country, whether they like it or not.
The disillusionment of Russian troops, made clear in intercepted radio messages, has contributed to a shift in Kyiv.
Ukrainian troops “appear to be catching their more powerful enemy increasingly off-guard”:
Having halted the Russian advance on the capital’s north western outskirts, Ukrainian forces have spent the last week in a counter-attack, reclaiming a number of Russian-held villages in the surrounding countryside.
An assessment on Friday from Britain’s Ministry of Defence said the Ukrainian pushback had now forced some Russian units more than 20 miles from the capital.
In Mariupol, it’s an altogether different story and bodies are said to line the streets while mass graves are dug.
Much of the bombardment has come from above, but Ukrainian pilots claim they are also making headway on that front.
Kyiv pilots say that their Russian counterparts “are unable to handle the high-risk tactics” they’re using.
Again, from The Telegraph:
“They are f—ing surprised. Especially about our ground air defences, and also about our fighters. Because they were not expecting resistance in the air at all,” [a 29-year-old MiG-29 fighter pilot with the call name ‘Juice’] said.
“We are trained to do some crazy s—,” added the pilot, who said he simply flew “faster and lower” than Russia’s missile defence systems to complete missions…
He compared his comrades to “Spartan” fighters who “don’t give a s—” about technical challenges and are fuelled by a determination to see off Vladimir Putin’s invaders and protect their families.
They have something to fight for, compared to soldiers and pilots who are, in some cases, simply following orders because they fear what happens if they don’t.
In the first 30 days of the war, Ukrainian officials say they have shot down roughly 100 Russian jets and 120 helicopters.
Whether or not that’s accurate is tough to pin down, as officials from both sides have been talking up the damage suffered by their foes wherever possible.
Russian officials are also claiming that videos on social media show Ukrainian forces mistreating captured Russian soldiers. In response, senior Ukrainian officials have claimed the video is a fake.
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