UK Officials have suggested morale is down in the Russian army due to “fatigue and high casualties”. More than 75,000 Russians have been killed or injured in Ukraine, according to Western reports.
Some sources have suggested these figures represent half the total number of soldiers that Russia has sent to fight in the Ukraine war
On Sunday, the Ministry of Defence posted an intelligent update which stated: “Russian forces continue to suffer from morale and discipline issues in Ukraine.
“In addition to combat fatigue and high casualties, one of the main grievances from deployed Russian soldiers probably continues to be problems with their pay.”
This update comes at a time Ukraine has begun an offensive to recapture territory that Russia has taken during the six-month conflict.
Ukraine’s President Zelensky has urged Russian soldiers to flee as Ukraine attempts to retake the city of Kherson.
He said: “If they want to survive – it’s time for the Russian military to run away. Go home”.
The Ministry of Defence report also spoke about issues with Russian soldiers’ pay, which may contribute to low morale.
The report stated that Russian soldiers are paid “a modest core salary” plus a “complex variety of bonuses and allowances”.
According to the statement, there have likely been “significant problems” with combat bonuses not being paid.
The Ministry of Defence said the reasoning for the lack of bonuses is “due to inefficient military bureaucracy, the unusual legal status of the ‘special military operation’, and at least some outright corruption amongst commanders”.
The Ministry of Defence also said Russian soldiers are not getting enough supplies.
It said: “The Russian military has consistently failed to provide basic entitlements to troops deployed in Ukraine, including appropriate uniform, arms and rations, as well as pay.
“This has almost certainly contributed to the continued fragile morale of much of the force.”
Morale may continue to lower in winter, as weather conditions in current war zones are expected to be extremely cold, with the average temperatures near freezing later in the year.
Last week, US officials said Russia’s President Putin has been attempting to recruit more soldiers in prisons and older retired soldiers who have been discharged from the military.
In August, Vladimir Putin signed an order to increase the Russian army by ten percent, so that the army will have 1.15 million servicemen by 2023.
However, US officials believe the recruitment effort “is unlikely to succeed”.
They said: “Russia has already begun trying to expand recruitment efforts.
“They’ve done this in part by eliminating the upper age limit for new recruits, and also by recruiting prisoners.
“Many of these new recruits have been observed as older, unfit, and ill-trained.”