Russian soldiers forced to rape each other says report alleging brutal violence on Ukraine frontline


storm z squad russia

A video shows fighters from Russia’s Storm-Z squad explaining they will no longer fight in Ukraine, in protest at treatment by their commanders, on June 28.Gulagu.net/Reuters

  • Russian soldiers are facing brutal punishments on the Ukraine front line, outlet Verstka reported.

  • Soldiers claim that convict soldiers abuse their comrades while commanders stay away from the front.

  • The outlet published videos appearing to show naked soldiers being beaten and others tied to trees.

Russian soldiers are subjected to brutal extrajudicial punishments on the front line in Ukraine, including being tied to trees for days, being forced to rape each other, and being thrown in pits naked, according to a shocking article from the independent Russian news outlet Verstka.

The outlet interviewed several Russian soldiers over three months, who described brutal conditions in which troops recruited from Russia’s prisons bully and abuse mobilized soldiers while commanders remain stationed safely away from the front.

“Our convicts have completely lost their heads,” one soldier told Verstka, citing a lack of rotation on the front line and mounting numbers of fatalities as reasons for their anger.

The outlet obtained a video which appeared to show four naked men being hit and verbally abused by military personnel and then made to enter a dug pit.

Verstka reported a soldier shouted at the naked victims, “What are you doing, you fucking dog, Don’t move, everyone stand… And you run into the hole, whore, to copulate. Run, you fat bitch, whore.”

Business Insider was unable to verify the claims made in the article.

The soldier who shared the video with Verstka, Misha Maltsev, said that this is a typical form of unofficial punishment for those who drink or do drugs while on duty.

He further claimed that the vigilante troops then “make them have sex afterwards. They sit and watch it. Laughing, pissing on top of them. Like they’re watching TV.”

Handcuffed to trees

“It’s hell here,” another Russian soldier said. “They’re killing each other. The Ukrainians are killing each other. The orders are stupid. Everyone understands that you can’t succeed, but they send them to die anyway.”

Verstka also published a video appearing to show an unidentified soldier being tied to a tree.

Those who refuse to fight are also subject to brutal punishments, with Russian soldier Semyon Kiskorov telling the outlet that they would be handcuffed or tied to trees for days and not allowed to eat or drink.

Kiskorov claimed that this happened to him and his brother in November 2023 after they refused to go on an assault.

Maltsev told Verstka that wounded soldiers are stitched up and sent back to fight, and the bodies of their dead comrades are often left to rot around them.

The outlet noted that after speaking with them, Maltsev and his entire unit were killed in the village of Krynky, on the east bank of the Dnipro river where Ukraine has established a bridgehead, in December 2023.

In a third video, two men appear to be beaten with sticks as machine guns are fired close to their heads. Groans, shouts, and the sounds of blows on people’s bodies can be heard. “That’s it, please forgive me,” howls one of those being “punished.”

Russia’s ‘Storm Z’ units

russian soldiers

Russian servicemen take part in military exercises at the Uspenovskyi training ground outside the city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia, on September 4, 2022.Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty Images

The Russian army has suffered heavy casualties throughout the war, with some analysts describing their use of “human wave” tactics, which attempt to overwhelm Ukrainian positions by sending in masses of soldiers on foot.

These soldiers are often poorly trained or under-equipped, leading to the number of fatalities to mount.

Last year, the Kremlin set up “Storm Z” units. Some of the troops in this force are convicted criminals who go into combat in exchange for time off of their sentences.

Ukraine has said that Storm Z shows extremely low combat capability, according to a press release translated by Pravada.

The soldiers in this group suffer from alcoholism, engage in looting, and are prone to desertion, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine said

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