Recent reports from Ukrainian military intelligence claim to have uncovered an intercepted phone call in which a Russian soldier acknowledges that his unit creates films to make it appear as though they are more successful on the battlefield than they are.
On Sunday, the Ukrainian military intelligence directorate (GUR) shared an audio file to its Telegram channel, purportedly of a phone call between a Ukrainian soldier and his wife from the front lines.
GUR often releases what it claims to have captured from Russian military conversations. Usually, the calls are used to illustrate the low morale of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military or to criticize the actions of those in the Kremlin. Putin had previously denied any Russian involvement in the June explosion at the Kakhovka Dam, but this month, GUR released audio purportedly of a Russian soldier saying his country was responsible.
Kyiv Post’s English translation of the newly intercepted audio shows that the soldier claims he was told to make bogus films to impress his superiors.
The soldier’s wife opens the call by discussing a video she watched on Kremlin-controlled state television showing Russian soldiers retaking the village of Robotyne in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast last month. The soldier claims he doesn’t believe the video’s claims and implies it’s phony, much like the movies he’s made of simulated battles.
According to the Kyiv Post, a soldier admitted, “I’ve also recorded bulls*** on the camera on my phone, showing that ‘we’re fighting f****** great, we hold the f****** defense so valiantly,’ but it’s a play.”
The Russian military has been accused of staging footage before. In August, A Russian military blogger quoted the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) as saying that Russian military leaders had instructed soldiers to “report false victories on their operations to impress their bosses.”
The ISW quotes the blogger as saying that three times, they saw footage of helicopter and artillery units with shots fired at the exact Western-supplied armored fighting vehicle from different directions and on different days that were counted as several kills.