Russia Taking ‘Draconian’ Measures To Get Troops In Line


Russia is taking “increasingly draconian initiatives” to improve discipline among its troops, the British Defense Ministry said Sunday in its daily intelligence update on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The report posted on Twitter said that Russian commanders in recent months “have likely started” punishing breaches in discipline by placing troop members in “Zindans,” which are makeshift holes in the ground covered by metal grills.

The ministry said there have been “multiple” reports recently from Russians who said they were placed in Zindans for misdemeanors that included attempting to terminate their contracts and drunkenness.

The harsh measures began in the fall but became even harsher when Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov was placed in control of the operation in January.

A Ukrainian drone struck a Crimean fuel depot Saturday while President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed “punishment for the terrorist state and all its war criminals” after Russia’s deadly strike on Friday on the central city of Uman.

In his nightly video address Saturday, Zelenskyy said Ukraine will do everything possible to make Russia and its accomplices answer for war crimes committed against Ukraine.

Referring to Friday’s deadly airstrikes against Uman, Zelenskyy said “anyone who prepares such missile attacks cannot but know that he will be an accomplice in the murder.” He said a tribunal against Russian war crimes will be established soon.

Rescuers have finished searching for survivors in Uman after two Russian missiles struck an apartment building, destroying 27 apartments and 33 cars in the blast.

Rescue teams recovered 22 bodies from the rubble, while one victim died later in the hospital, Ukrainian Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said on Saturday. Among the dead were six children, three boys and three girls. Two women remain missing. Nine people were wounded. A total of 17 people were rescued from the rubble.

In Dnipro, airstrikes killed a 2-year-old and her mother.

Moscow claimed its target was Ukrainian reserve troops and that it struck successfully, preventing them from reaching the front lines. Russia supplied no evidence to support this, according to Reuters.

Crimea attack 

Russia blamed Ukraine for a drone strike early Saturday that set fire to a fuel storage facility in the Russian-occupied Crimean port city of Sevastopol. The fire has been extinguished, Moscow-installed Governor Mikhail Razvozhaev said later in the day on Telegram.

Razvozhaev said the fire would not affect fuel supplies in Sevastopol and that no one had been injured. He said another drone was downed and its wreckage found on the shore near the fuel terminal.

However, Ukrainian military intelligence official Andriy Yusov said more than 10 tanks with a capacity of about 40,000 metric tons were destroyed. The tanks, he said, contained oil products intended for use by Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, RBC Ukraine reported.

Yusov did not say Ukraine was responsible for the attack. Instead, he said it was “God’s punishment” for the Russian strikes on Uman Friday.

“This punishment will be long-lasting. In the near future, it is better for all residents of temporarily occupied Crimea not to be near military facilities and facilities that provide for the aggressor’s army,” RBC quoted Yusov as saying.

Ukraine does not have missiles that can reach targets as far away as Sevastopol, but it has been developing drones with longer ranges, according to Reuters.

Ukrainian counteroffensive 

“There will be a counterattack and I think it will succeed,” Zelenskyy said in an interview with Scandinavian media published Saturday. “I will not give details. Have we had enough armaments for that? I would say that we are on the way to the fact that we are.”

According to The Kyiv Independent, the Ukrainian leader said the counteroffensive will happen with or without U.S. F-16 fighter jets.

“It would help a lot,” he said. “But we understand that we will not delay this, and we will start even before we have F-16s or something else.”

Ukrainian officials have repeatedly asked for more fighter jets as their counteroffensive nears. In a tweet on Thursday, Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba wrote, “Giving Ukraine F-16s will deter Russia rather than ‘provoke’ it. Time to take this step.”

So far, Poland has provided eight MiG-29s, The Kyiv Independent reported. However, The Washington Post reports that military experts and Ukrainian officials say MiG-29s may not be as effective in a Ukrainian offensive against Russian forces.

“The MiG radar doesn’t work far; their missiles don’t fire far,” said Yuriy Ihnat, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian air force. “We need new, modern generations of aircraft,” he noted.


The VOA is the Voice of America

One thought on “Russia Taking ‘Draconian’ Measures To Get Troops In Line

  • May 1, 2023 at 6:36 am

    I agree the West should have provided both longer range missiles and either F16’s or Sweden’s Gripen Fighter Jets, but without months of training or mercenary pilots, they would just get shot down. We have entered the Age of AI enhanced Drone Warfare, and drones can do maneuvers that would kill a pilot in a plane from G forces. Pilots do not grow on trees.

    Americans need to remember it took the USA 2 years to gear up to win WWII with a massive reallocation of resources to military products. Today our economy is far larger, so the task is easier and less burdensome, but it still takes time.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *