Four months of war in Ukraine appear to be straining the morale of troops on both sides, prompting desertions and rebellion against officers' orders, British defence officials said Sunday.
"Combat units from both sides are committed to intense combat in the Donbas and are likely experiencing variable morale," Britain's defence ministry said in its daily assessment of the war.
"Ukrainian forces have likely suffered desertions in recent weeks," the assessment said, but added that "Russian morale highly likely remains especially troubled."
It said "cases of whole Russian units refusing orders and armed stand-offs between officers and their troops continue to occur."
Separately, the Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate released what it said were intercepted phone calls in which Russian soldiers complained about front-line conditions, poor equipment, and overall lack of personnel, according to a report by the Institute for the Study of War.
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