Thousands of Russians who were called up to fight against Ukraine by brutal dictator Vladimir Putin have been sent home after being declared unfit for duty.
The embarrassing setback is the latest hit to the former KGB agent’s bloody European invasion amid reports of a collapse in troop morale and unrest throughout his country.
Putin’s pal Mikhail Degtyarev, who governs the Khabarovsk region in Russia’s far east, explained the dire situation in a video on Telegram.
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He admitted: "In 10 days, several thousand of our countrymen received summons and arrived at the military registration and enlistment offices…
“About half of them we returned home as they did not meet the selection criteria for entering the military service."
It comes after a huge military call-up ordered by the erratic Putin saw queues of men reach a whopping 10 miles as they tried to avoid being sent to fight in Ukraine.
An exodus of up to 115,000 people followed a Kremlin speech announcing the plans as flights to Armenia, Turkey and Georgia sold out and people flocked to the borders by road and foot.
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Morale is said to be desperately low for troops who are fighting and a video last week reportedly showed the moment furious Russian conscripts turned on an officer who had called them “meat for the slaughter”.
The incident, which was said to have happened in Penza, in western Russia, was published on the notorious Cargo 200 Telegram channel, which specialises in clips of attacks on Russian forces and evidence of atrocities perpetrated by Putin’s invaders.
Now, unrest is continuing to build up inside Russia’s borders with reports of over 2,000 arrests for anti-war protests.
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