More Russian Soldiers Sabotage Vehicles to Avoid Going to Ukraine Front

As the war between Russia and Ukraine rages on, the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia's military administration reported that nearly 20 Russian cars were shot by Russian soldiers to avoid going to the Ukrainian front.

Russian forces invaded Ukraine on February 24, and reports that Russian soldiers are battling low morale have heightened as the conflict continues.

According to the Zaporizhzhia Oblast Military Administration on Telegram, "The military situation in the Zaporizhia region has not changed significantly. The enemy is not conducting active hostilities, but is constantly shelling the positions of our troops with artillery."

"According to locals, in Polohy, the Russian military shot about 20 of their cars," the military administration wrote, "only to avoid going to the front line." The post added that Russian soldiers reportedly attempted to blame the destruction of the cars on "representatives of the resistance movement in the temporarily occupied territory of the Zaporizhzhia region."

The Telegram post added, "The moral and psychological condition of the occupiers remains low, there is a systematic use of alcoholic beverages and desertion."

"In addition, on the eve of May 9, 2022, residents of the city of Tokmak, Pologi district of Zaporozhye region reminded the occupiers that they are on Ukrainian soil temporarily," the administration said. "For example, leaflets with the words 'Defeat Nazism - Defeat Racism' began to appear on the streets of the city."

These are not the first reports of low Russian morale amidst the fight in Ukraine, nor has it been the first report that Russian soldiers have taken to destroying their own resources to avoid fighting.

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Russian soldiers have reportedly shot 20 of their own cars to avoid going to the Ukrainian front, according to the Zaporizhzhya Oblast Military Administration. In this photo, a Ukrainian soldier sits on a tank near Sloviansk, eastern Ukraine, on April 26, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images

The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) frequently shares intercepted calls on its websiteand reported last week that a Russian soldier told an acquaintance in Russia that soldiers are refusing to begin new attacks on Ukraine's Kharkiv region.

The soldier allegedly said, "In short, we refused to take part in this sh*t, get it? And they treat us here really tough in general, almost to the point of execution. We want to leave, but they don't let us."

According to the SSU, another soldier told his father on the phone, "We have one tank left in the regiment. So, we ourselves broke our tank in the morning not to go [to battle]."

Last week, former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly wrote in a series of tweets, which were translated from Russian by Google, "How to Sabotage Your Russian Tank: Instructions for Beginners."

Kelly, who has been very outspoken against the Russian government and the invasion, proposed several different steps which included causing powder fires or clogging the tank's gun from the outside, although it was pointed out that doing those things can cause injury.

Since the start of the war, NATO has estimated that Russia has lost between 7,000 and 15,000 soldiers. However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said during an address on April 30 that Russia has lost more than 23,000 soldiers.

"The Russian command is well aware that thousands more Russian soldiers will be killed and thousands more will be wounded in the coming weeks," Zelensky said.

Newsweek reached out to Russia's Defense Ministry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine for comment.