Putin forces conscripts to stay on the frontline with threat of bullet in head

Vladimir Putin’s commanders are reportedly forcing troops to remain on the frontline with vicious threats.

Men who have seen the horror of the cannon fodder killing fields say commanders are using a brutal Stalin tactic to prevent Russian reservist troops leaving their positions.

The conscript soldiers are said to be being held at gunpoint with threats of "a bullet in the head" if they disobey orders.

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In a new video appealing directly to Vladimir Putin, Russian reservist draftees said: "People are abandoned in the trenches as if homeless and littered with corpses.

"Retreat-blocking detachments were set up against us and they did not let us out of positions.”

They explained how they are forced at gunpoint to remain in position – a tactic used by Stalin’s cruel SMERSH secret police in World War 2.

They appealed to Putin hoping he will be shocked by their revelations – yet all the evidence is he approves of these “meat-grinder” tactics.

The men made clear that they are given a grotesque choice – stay in the frontline and have a slim chance of survival, or retreat and face a bullet in the head – murder – from fellow Russians in Putin’s “retreat-blocking detachments”.

They tell how the Russian state media, controlled by Putin, is lying over supposed successes in the war.

They said: “Now [we] are not allowed to go anywhere at all, they promise to humiliate us.

“We are in danger.

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“This is the village of Vodiane near Donetsk, where our media say that we are advancing successfully.

“In fact, this is not true… There are very, very big losses here.

“We sat under the open fire of mortars and artillery for 14 days.

“We suffered huge losses, 34 wounded, 22 dead.

“Our company commander was killed…”

They complained they faced well-equipped Ukrainian troops with machine guns, mortars and tanks with little means to respond.

The men – evidently from Kaliningrad – blamed the deputy commander of their brigade, named as Colonel Ilya Ivanov, for “giving criminal orders” and said that at gunpoint he “did not let us out of position”.

The men repeated: “They promise to humiliate us. We are in danger.”

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This is the latest of a growing number of pleas for help from despairing Russian soldiers on the frontline.

It confirms the brutality of Putin’s 19th century war tactics – using men “like meat” to hold positions no matter how large the losses, and then replace the dead with new recruits as draftees are maimed or killed.

In a video leaked to ASTRA media, the desperate soldiers say they have never seen clapped eyes on their senior commanders or seen “official orders”.

“The leadership of the fifth brigade is a criminal gang – there are no other ways to describe them,” says one of the men.

Their presence on the frontline is not officially recorded.

“We are still registered as being in the Kaliningrad training school, it's as if we are not here,” they revealed.

This school is in the Baltic region – nowhere near the corpse-littered trenches of Russian-occupied Ukraine.

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