Russian troops are reportedly turning to alcohol abuse and “self-mutilation” as ways to escape from the front lines, while the Kremlin’s military continues to grapple with a sharp drop in morale among soldiers, according to a report report Thursday with the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) think tank.

– said Hanna Maljar, Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine check-in The ISW reported that Russian soldiers are showing signs of increased panic after being insufficiently trained to fight in the Russo-Ukrainian War.

Malyar said that soldiers have “a significant decline in morale and mental state” as a result of Ukraine’s recent successful counter-offensives, adding that the Ukrainian ministry has observed “massive abuse of alcoholic beverages” leading to “incidents of armed conflict” in Russia’s military and moments of “destabilization”, according to think tank.

“In addition, we know of cases of deliberate self-mutilation of representatives of the Russian military and cases of suic*de,” Malyar said. “This is due to the fact that the morale and psychological level are lowered as much as possible” – informed the ISW.

A Ukrainian soldier looks towards a house in Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine on November 3, 2022, a day after it was destroyed by a Russian airstrike. According to a Ukrainian defense official, the morale of Russian soldiers continues to decline.
Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images

The ISW study also found that low morale was an increasing problem for Russian authorities, adding that some sources reported Russian troops refusing to continue fighting until they received sufficient training. ISW also reported that mobilized Russian personnel were held in prison cells in Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts for disobeying military orders.

Ukraine recently had a series of successful counter-offensives against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s troops, leading to the d*aths of nearly 10,000 Russian soldiers in two weeks.

The ISW also said that Ukraine continues to liberate Russian-occupied territories in the eastern part of the country, adding that Russian troops are likely to be “vulnerable” to another battle in the eastern Kherson region in the coming days.

“The limited number of high-quality roads and railways in the area, in particular connecting Crimea to the mainland, creates potential bottlenecks that could be vulnerable to Ukrainian interception activities that would gradually undermine Russia’s ability to continue supplying its group in the eastern Kherson region and other areas of southern Ukraine,” the ISW wrote.

On Thursday, Russia unleashed another “massive wave” of missile att*cks on Ukrainian infrastructure. The Kremlin has recently been targeting Ukraine’s power sources ahead of the winter months, triggering widespread power outages across the country.

Newsweek asked the Russian Ministry of Defense for comment.

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