Reports being fed back to the Russian high command speak of a well-disciplined Russian Army enjoying themselves after success in Ukraine.
But news coming out of occupied Kherson, in the south of country, tell of drunk and angry Russians fighting among themselves as the Ukrainian Army threatens to drive them back to their homeland.
Secret Russian Government documents tell of a bloody brawl between Russian troops and the feared Federal Security Service (FSB).
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According to the report, leaked to Yahoo News, three FSB officers spotted two soldiers from the 8th Artillery Regiment of the Russian Black Sea Fleet – Sgt. Sergei Obukhov and Junior Sgt. Igor Sudin – in uniform “idly spending time, consuming alcoholic drinks”.
When disciplined by the FSB men, the two soldiers reacted angrily, drawing their weapons, and Obukhov fired his pistol into the floor.
As one of the FSB officers, Sergei Privalov, tried to grab Obukhov’s gun, Sudin suddenly opened up with his AK47 – killing Privalov and one of his comrades Igor Yakubinsky.
In the exchange of fire that followed Obukhov was also killed and the third FSB man, D.A. Borodin, was severely wounded.
Borodin and Sudin were taken to the Russian Defence Ministry’s Federal Naval Clinical Hospital No. 1427 in Sevastopol.
A fourth, unnamed FSB officer was also reportedly present at the scene and fled unharmed.
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The shoot-out is now being investigated by V.O. Savchenko, an official in Russia’s Military Investigations Department.
The deadly squabble is not an isolated case. An anonymous Ukrainian journalist told Sky News that Russian soldiers were drunkenly staggering through the streets of Kherson with "a bottle of alcohol in one hand, a machine gun in the other”.
The Russians live in fear of Ukrainian fighters hiding among the civilian population: "There is a checkpoint at almost every intersection," the source said. "All cars and buses are checked. Everyone is asked for their passports. They tear down garage doors and gates. They are looking for weapons, they are looking for some equipment. They are very afraid of partisans."
Meanwhile, Viktor Zolotov, director of the Russian National Guard, told a visibly unwell Vladimir Putin that the Ukrainian invasion was going very well indeed.
“I especially want to emphasise that we feel the support of the population in the liberated territories,” he said in a televised briefing.
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