Russia, soldiers, coffin
Soldiers carry a coffin during a farewell ceremony for a Russian army officer killed in Ukraine, March 9, 2022. Photo credit: © Alexander Garmayev/TASS via ZUMA Press

WhoWhatWhy has obtained audio of Russian soldiers in Ukraine speaking on mobile phones to each other and in some cases to family back home. These come to us from reliable sources and we have done our best to verify their authenticity. 

A soldier describes how his unit was ordered to stop a bus carrying civilians and, when it did not stop, began shooting. He then describes the carnage on the bus and expresses his disgust at what he is part of, his fear, and his hope that the war is over soon. 

A soldier says that his unit does not have enough equipment. He makes reference to the “5th regiment,” which may refer to the 5th Tank Brigade — one of Russia’s ground force formations that had fought on the separatists’ side in Eastern Ukraine. He refers to the Russian leadership as “morons” and says even special forces troops with them are surprised by the morass they face… “They’re totally fucked.”  

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