A British intelligence report said the Russian army “probably” instructed special units to shoot soldiers retreating from the battlefronts in Ukraine in a repeat of Stalinist practices during World War II, the newspaper reported.The Times“.
“Due to low morale and a reluctance to fight, Russian forces have likely begun deploying ‘blocking forces’ or ‘disruption units”” the British Ministry of Defense explained in an intelligence update.
And she continued, “These units threaten to shoot Russian soldiers who are withdrawing or fleeing from the battlefronts, and Moscow has previously used this tactic in previous conflicts.”
The late Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin, issued Order No. 227 in July 1942, a year after the Nazi forces invaded Russia, and that decree was known as “Forbidden (returning) one step back.”
Under that decree, some units of the Red Army were allowed to shoot “cowards and panic-mongers” in the ranks of those forces.
The MoD said: “Recently, Russian generals likely wanted their subordinates to use weapons against army deserters, including allowing those left behind to be shot with a warning to shoot.”
And Abizaid, the statement: “It is also possible that the generals wanted to maintain defensive positions until death.”
Moscow has not officially commented on these reports, but according to the Times newspaper, some Russian officials expressed cynicism towards it.
On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that allows the recruitment of people who have committed serious crimes, but excludes those convicted of “espionage, terrorism, treason, armed uprisings, plane hijacking and some other crimes.”
Yesterday, Putin announced that 318,000 soldiers had been called up as part of the “partial mobilization”, and that 49,000 of them had begun to perform combat missions.