Russian soldiers provide mundane details about the war in Ukraine and about the Russian Military

| November 20, 2022 | 56 Comments

Marked areas represent the extent of what the Russians captured since they invaded Ukraine earlier this year. The Ukrainians have steadily pushed the Russians out of many areas. Click to enlarge.

Communications between Russian soldiers and their families have left a lot of experiences and accounts available for intercept. Many of these intercepts have been packaged into videos with translations, then posted online. The chosen videos below provide a sample of the mundane experiences that individual soldiers relay to their families regarding how the war is playing out for them.

Retreat from Kherson:

One of the Russian Commanders talks to his wife. He delivers the news that his unit retreated a little. The news surprises his wife, as Russian media describes things as going well for the Russians. She thought they were in Dudchany, then Kachkarivka, but the Russians had already left those locations by the time the call was made. Further questioning from the wife gets an admission that the commander’s unit had abandoned the Kherson area on one side of the river.

More on Kherson:

In this communication intercept, a Russian provides more details about his command’s actions relative to pulling out of the Kherson area. We get some details of the battle damage that they sustained. He describes how a drone flew over them, then they received mortar rounds. The Ukrainians are making maximum use of drones in the theater, assigning them different tasks for different purposes.

The second intercept is from the DPR, “Donetsk People’s Republic”, from a pro-Russian soldier. This soldier complained about not receiving the full pay that he was promised. He was not the only one having issues with pay. This soldier’s frustration resulted in his writing a resignation letter. In many of these intercepts, the Russian being recorded declared the intent to write a resignation letter, or that he had already written one.

Many of these intercepts over the past months have described anywhere from a 15% to 25% “remain in unit” rate within a specific command. Many are killed and wounded, others simply quit and just go AWAL.

Russian soldier complains about Russian military leadership:

Think many military and civilian “bosses” are “stupid”? The soldiers in these intercepts criticize their leaders. For example, their leaders have a knack for making the same mistakes repeatedly. After a soldier details his list of complaints, his mother basically advises him to “jump ship”.

The second intercept runs with the same theme. His wife tells him to “start a riot” after he provides his complaints. The soldier relayed a story that involved a commander that did not care that they were being fired at by a tank. This commander just wanted them to shoot without necessarily factoring the tank threat.

Mundane front-line details that surprise family back home:

One of the many common sayings on these intercepts is, “Don’t believe what they tell you on the news.” They’re talking about the difference between what their news say and what is happening on the ground. The Russians are being told that things are going well, and that they are winning.

This soldier also describes issues with provisions, like a 1.5 litter bottle of water being shared among 8 people. The soldiers do not always receive the equipment they need, their supply situation is “bad”. They’re constantly losing vehicles, including to their own mines. His sister touches up on Russia’s violating their own specifications for who would be mobilized.

The soldier in the second intercept describes his unit’s intent to give up 60 kilometers possibly to get it back, but they had previously given up 100 kilometers. They also talk about “cleansing operations” that the Russians do in areas they control. They go house to house, then kill the people that they find. He didn’t appear to differentiate between combatant and civilians. The Bucha massacre describes the results of such a “cleansing operation”.

A soldier mobilized in September provides his personal experience of the war:

Here’s an account of a Russian that was mobilized in September. During the bus ride, some of the conscripts wanted to beat the bus driver up. Some of the conscripts were apparently drunk. They spend 6 days to prepare for deployment, including equipment receipt, 1 day for shooting, and 1 day for tactics. They received rusty weapons but were able to swap them out for usable weapons after they posted complaints on social media.

They arrived at another location supposedly to train for 21 days in preparation for deployment to Ukraine. When they got off the plane, a fat colonel started to shout at them. A few hours’ drive later, they arrived, and they see the fat colonel that yelled at them before. A fat major general accompanied him. He described company commanders and above as being fat with a belly looking like a ball.

During the first 6 to 7 days, folks were drinking and chilling. Instead of the promised 21 days of training, they received 1 day for shooting.

The video provides details, from a Russian soldier’s perspective, of the mundane things that occur from mobilization to deployment to the frontline, details of their training, etc.

For the above soldier’s experience, it was one day for shooting (Because a senior officer was there), one day for medical training (tourniquet use and carrying comrades), and presto! Prepared special forces troops! His assessment of the different militaries? The Russian side is not prepared, the Ukrainian side is prepared. It’s the longest video but is worth the watch.

Reminds me of this scene in “Enemy at the Gates:

“The one with the riffle shoots! The one without, follows him! When the one with the rifle gets killed, the one who is following picks up the rifle and shoots!”

Russian wife asks her Soldier to wear a condom while raping Ukrainian women:

In this audio, a wife allows her Russian soldier husband to rape Ukrainian women, only that he wears a condom while he is at it, and that he does not tell her about it. Are they just kidding around, or is this an actual “green light” to go ahead?

YouTuber “Insights from Ukraine and Russia” compiles these videos, provides the translations, then uploads them to YouTube to inform people of what is being said by Russian soldiers, and pro-Russian soldiers, and their families. Additional videos could be watched here.

Category: International Affairs, Russia


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Hack Stone

In any of these videos, do the Russian soldiers state their preferred personal pronouns? How about blaming their continuous failures in combat on the inability to recognize White Rage? How much of their limited training was used for necessary skills, like how to March in step during the Gay Pride Parade?


Poor bastards… don’t know what they’re missing. /sarc


Hey, Russkies didn’t behave professionally and follow the Geneva Convention in World War II, why should they now? /sarc

If it moves, shoot it; if it doesn’t move, rape it; and, if you can’t rape it, drink it– how Russian forces are normally when they invade another country.

Last edited 8 days ago by Anonymous

Doesn’t all that come under the heading of “collateral damage”?


Russians will have peace, with or without other people.


Ok, I might regert this but I’m heading in. COVER ME WHILE I MOVE!

Bucha: IF there were ‘executions’ someone would be responsible, I think we can have consensus on that. Any asshole that speaks in absolutes about Russian or Ukrainian forces being responsible is a rectum.


Yet again, I seriously doubt the authenticity of any intercepted phone calls as Russia’s SINGINT has been pretty fucking good. ‘You want Article 15, Dimitri? Make phone call one more time!’


Vlad is using Reddit as a Sigint source? *cough*
Oh yeah. Check yer email.

Last edited 8 days ago by AW1Ed

Done and done, Top.

Civility is a practice and I’m out of shape.


We’re done here.


And yet again, I ask with FULL-LUNGED SHOUTS, what is the threat to my country and why must I be involved?

That Z nutbag has a chance to openly negotiate for peace, but is content escalating this thing outside HIS fucking borders. Love it or hate it, Bad Vlad has warned against this repeatedly.

The ball is firmly in Z’s court.


Even the rarely-worth-mentioning Intercept has a pretty good line they saw fit to quote:

“America and NATO are not just innocent bystanders.”

We have had a hand in this since 2014, and instead of walking the fuck away from this pile of burning shit, have made problems worse as this iteration of The USA Megaweapons Corporation is want to do.

You can beat this amoral war drum all you’d like, but a durable peace is worth fighting for, and that war starts at home.


On the related article (also by thebesig) from 2 days ago,
thebesig lost yesterday’s Flame Wars.
So, thebesig resorted to TURNING OFF THE COMMENTS.

Glad I got to bottom it off,
with dailymotion and YouTube video links to
Monty Python’s “Argument Clinic.”

See it all here.

Reduction of US defense stockpiles in support of Ukraine
thebesig | November 18, 2022

VG problem screenshot 7 Argument Clinic Monty Python.jpg
Last edited 8 days ago by MarineDad61

You have an email as well.


Thank you.

VG problem screenshot 8 AW1ED email 1.jpg

Did you seriously think I didn’t know you would post this?

I’d ask if you had any questions, but I really don’t care.


Buy you a drink, Sailor? You could probably use one about now. 🍸


I’m just disappointed that your warnings don’t include phrases like, “Your comments have you in the ‘Danger Zone'”, or “I feel the need, the need for speed…ily moderating posts.”

Just sayin’.


Careful LC, he testy. You wanna tiptoe thru that minefield you’re an adult.

(low-key: hahahahahaha!!)


Are you saying he’s lost that lovin’ feelin’? 🙂


You got a warning? Lucky you. This is my 5th attempt to post a comment today. On one thread (guess which) I don’t even get a “reply” icon.

How does one know if they are in jail?
How does one contact an administrator on this site as instructed in the FAQ?


This is a copy of one of my previous attempts to comment;

Off topic, but I seem to be unable to post replies. On the thread “Reduction of US stockpiles…” I don’t have any “reply” icons, and a comment I just posted on another thread has disappeared.

Upon further reading in the “”Reduction of US stockpiles…” thread I came across a comment by MarineDad61 which says, in part,

 “His next resort, is to put his factual dissenters in VG comment jail.”

Am I in jail?


I see your posts fine, Tim.

The other thread might be ‘special’.


No, you’re not in VG comment jail.
I can see your comments.

IF you are in VG comment jail,
your comments will be held pending admin approval,
and your screen will show you this.

VG admin AW1Ed has REOPENED comments on that article.

BTW, it didn’t take long for thebesig and another to get the back and forth going on again…
including some by thebesig at me…..
but nothing new by me.

Thebesig can run his own personal damage control all he wants.
Almost no one is buying it.

Last edited 8 days ago by MarineDad61

timactual & LC,
It’s going on over there right now.
All these new comments
since my comment just above,
only 4 minutes ago.

Oh boy.

VG Recent Comments 9.jpg
Last edited 8 days ago by MarineDad61

I’ve seen that, I just tend to ignore him. The one thing where I agree with him is when he said something along the lines of how ‘smart people don’t argue with him’, albeit presumably for different reasons than he thinks.

Smart people will realize it’s tedious to have a discussion with someone so utterly ridiculous that they think they’re a genius while simultaneously believing they can genuinely psychologically diagnose others from a reply on a website, an off-handed comment, or a Facebook profile, for that matter.

My advice to you, before you lose your remaining marbles, is to be smart. There are plenty of good discussions to be had here at VG/TAH, and your contributions are welcome. You just need to accept the bad with the good.


Again and with all due respect, MD, “lost” is a loaded word and as my skeptical nature is Mariana deep, the resultant fear is any ‘victory’ had was pyrrhic.

I am not here to beat Man, just ideas.

Allow me to extol the virtues of peace, in all things, so we may have a world (and blog!) to pass on.


“This soldier’s frustration resulted in his writing a resignation letter. In many of these intercepts, the Russian being recorded declared the intent to write a resignation letter, or that he had already written one.”

A freaking “resignation letter”??
Something ain’t right, here.


Could be Wagner Mercs. (the article is added for context, not as a source. BBC is azzhole)


These dudes?

Russian Mercenaries in Syria

Not a great track record.


If a Russky conscript:
comment image

Last edited 8 days ago by Anonymous

In this audio, a wife allows her Russian soldier husband to rape Ukrainian women, only that he wears a condom while he is at it, and that he does not tell her about it. 

Now THIS is a wife!!!


,l know this is out of context, but I seem to be lacking any “reply” icons when I open the “Reduction of US defense stockpiles in support of Ukraine” thread. They appear and work just fine in all the others I open.


Deja Voo Doo.
I just posted a comment above, a reply to Roh-Dog.
You did good.


I halted comments on the post. That’s why.


Thank you for the clarification.




I am not arguing your right to do so, or whether or not you had reason to do so, but it would be nice to have some notification.

And my comments on other threads? Or am I delusional, in which case I would appreciate it if you pointed out my delusions, in whatever language you feel appropriate.

And how do I contact an administrator (Other than by annoying one)?


You could check your email.


Ivan missed the boat when he didn’t go ahead and jump on NATO in October of ’73. He prolly coulda kicked some serious ass. Still wonder if his spies telling him about 1/2 of a certain tactical nuke missile battalion tracks pouring out of the Kaserne like an army of ants while the other tracks were being raised into the launch position had anything to do with Ivan rethinking the launching of Red Storm earlier than Clancey spoke of?

I still think it’s odd that there is a war going on between 2 countries that have been nefarious things with elected or appointed high government officials in our country.

Make some peace you fricking fools. No joy in ruling over a nuclear wasteland.


Princes and paupers.

And the band played on:


Great googly-moogly, let me hear ya talkin’ to ya…


I’m curious: are there any civilian devices capable of intercepting communications like described in Besig’s article? For sure government agencies can, so I have to ask, whose government spy agencies are releasing these intercepts? (a rhetorical question for most at TAH)


Yes, it’s actually surprisingly easy if you either have access to the real cell towers (which Ukrainian intelligence certainly does, and I wouldn’t be surprised if local operators did too), or can set up a device to masquerade as a cell tower, and intercept that way. The ‘Stingray’ device used by law enforcement is the best known commercial one, but hackers have set up ones on the cheap in the past.

They’ve been found outside military bases and even around DC in general:

Wonderful, right? Using secure apps like Signal keeps the content of calls secure, but metadata is still available.


Thanks LC. You’ve basically confirmed that only spy agencies have the ability to gather intercepts. This, of course, makes the intercepts open to manipulation and should always be taken with a 5 lbs of salt – in an open wound.

Heh. I remember the Israel spy story. My reaction was, “what spy agency doesn’t do this?” Rwanda’s?