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Russia ‘executing disobedient soldiers’, says White House

October 27th, 2023

A Ukrainian soldier walks through the destroyed streets of Avdiivka – Vlada Liberova/Libkos/Getty Images

The Russian military is executing soldiers who do not follow orders, the White House has said.

John Kirby, a White House spokesperson, told reporters: “We have information that the Russian military has been actually executing soldiers who refuse to follow orders.

“We also have information that Russian commanders are threatening to execute entire units if they seek to retreat from Ukrainian artillery fire.”

Mr Kirby condemned the alleged threats to execute the soldiers as “barbaric.”

He added: “But I think it’s a symptom of how poorly Russia’s military leaders know they’re doing and how bad they have handled this from a military perspective.”

Representatives from the Kremlin, the Russian defence ministry, and the Russian embassy to the United States did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

It comes after Ukrainian officials said that Russian forces were disregarding heavy losses and pressing on with a drive to capture the eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka.

Mr Kirby said Russia’s mobilised forces were undertrained, under-equipped, and unprepared for combat.

He said the military was using “human wave tactics” by throwing groups of poorly trained soldiers into the fight.

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