Russian forces on the back foot in the Kherson region 25102022 CREDIT Russian MOD
Russian troops on the back foot in the Kherson region in October (Picture: Russian MOD).
Russia

Ukraine: Russia 'probably' deploying special units that threaten to shoot own retreating troops, MOD says

Russian forces on the back foot in the Kherson region 25102022 CREDIT Russian MOD
Russian troops on the back foot in the Kherson region in October (Picture: Russian MOD).

Russia has "probably" started to deploy special units that threaten to shoot their own troops trying to retreat in Ukraine, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has said.

In an intelligence update on Twitter, the MOD said, "due to low morale and reluctance to fight", Moscow has "probably started deploying 'barrier troops' or 'blocking units'".

"These units threaten to shoot their own retreating soldiers in order to compel offensives and have been used in previous conflicts by Russian forces," the update said.

"Recently, Russian generals likely wanted their commanders to use weapons against deserters, including possibly authorising shooting to kill such defaulters after a warning had been given.

Watch: Ukraine 'will achieve their military objectives' providing the West continue to provide.

"Generals also likely wanted to maintain defensive positions to the death.

"The tactic of shooting deserters likely attests to the low-quality, low-morale and indiscipline of Russian forces."

The latest intelligence update comes after a former Nato commander told Forces News that Ukraine "will achieve their military objectives" so long as the West continues to provide the support necessary "and indeed ramps it up".

"All the indications are that Russian morale is rock bottom, whereas the Ukrainian tails are very firmly up," Richard Shirreff, a former Nato Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, told the Sitrep podcast.

The former Nato commander believes that the Ukrainians should be supplied with "whatever they need to beat the Russians".