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Drug-abusing Russian soldiers get sent to fight with Storm Z assault forces as punishment, intel says, putting them on the front lines with convicts

Drug-abusing Russian soldiers get sent to fight with Storm Z assault forces as punishment, intel says, putting them on the front lines with convicts
  • UK intelligence said Russian commanders are likely punishing drug-abusing soldiers.

  • The commanders are apparently tossing the soldiers in so-called  "Storm Z assault detachments."

  • A Russian news outlet previously reported that soldiers were getting hard drugs delivered to them on the front lines.

Russian commanders are likely often punishing soldiers using drugs and alcohol on the front lines of Moscow's grinding war with Ukraine by forcing them to fight alongside convicts, according to British intelligence and war analysts.

The soldiers have been forced to fight in so-called "Storm Z assault detachments" that have effectively become penal units, the UK's Ministry of Defense said on Monday in its latest daily intelligence update.

"One of the core drivers of poor Russian discipline and substance abuse likely remains the continued lack of opportunity for combat troops to rotate away from the front line," the UK intelligence group said.

In its intelligence update, the UK's Ministry of Defense pointed to a recent report by independent Russian news outlet Verstka, which said Russian soldiers were getting hard drugs delivered to their trenches in Ukraine to escape boredom.

According to Verstka, up to 15% of Russian soldiers in Ukraine were using drugs, including amphetamines and cannabis, and the drugs were easy to get their hands on, even on the front lines.

One unnamed soldier told the independent Russian outlet at the time: "It's like in Las Vegas."

British intelligence said on Monday, "These reports are credible and follow numerous reports since the invasion of a high rate of disciplinary incidents, crimes, and deaths related to alcohol abuse amongst the Russian force."

The units these drug-using soldiers fight in are mostly made up of convicts and are thrown onto the frontlines, according to analysts from the Institute for the Study of War.

The analysts cited Russian military bloggers who reported the "Storm-Z" units were "often destroyed after a few days of active operations and on average lose between 40-70 percent of their personnel."

Read the original article on Business Insider