“How else can they go to certain death?”
A Ukrainian soldier said troops from Russia’s Wagner Group in Bakhmut appear to be drugged.
No evidence has emerged that Russia or the Wagner Group are supplying drugs to their troops.
Ukrainian soldiers have previously claimed that Russian troops acted like “zombies”.
A Ukrainian soldier fighting in Bakhmut told the New York Times his unit sometimes wondered if fighters from Russia’s notorious Wagner group used drugs.
Although there is no evidence to support this, it is not the first time that Ukrainians have expressed their astonishment that the behavior of some Russian soldiers could be medically induced.
The Wagner Group is a powerful Russian paramilitary unit that has become a key ally in Russia’s advance into Ukraine. The group once sparked controversy when they offered freedom to convicted Russian prisoners in exchange for fighting. Wagner Group fighters are notorious for storming frontline positions and suffering heavy casualties.
A retired US Marine estimates that the average life expectancy of a Wagner soldier on the front lines in eastern Ukraine is just four hours. And a 48-year-old prison inmate who traded his freedom to serve in Russia’s Wagner group told the Wall Street Journal earlier this month that the group only trained him for three weeks and that he expected it to be on his first mission to die.
It’s the kind of behavior that soldiers from Ukraine’s Third Assault Brigade believe could be the result of drug use. The unit’s media officer told the New York Times that during the first month of fighting, 10 to 15 Wagner fighters advanced on their position each day until their near certain death.
“They get killed and come back,” he told the Times. “Our boys wonder if they do drugs. How else can they face certain death and step over the rotting corpses of their colleagues? You can go a bit crazy there.”
Ukrainians previously speculated that Russian soldiers were taking drugs in November as winter began to make fighting increasingly miserable, telling AFP that Russian soldiers appeared like “zombies”.
“They are shot at and more are coming all the time,” one soldier said, according to AFP.
Another Ukrainian soldier told CNN in February that the advancing Russian forces looked like a “zombie movie” as they climbed over “the bodies of their friends.”
“It looks like there’s a very, very high possibility that they’d be on drugs before the attack,” the soldier told CNN.
Although there is no evidence that Wagner Group fighters use drugs, there is a long history of drug use in conflict.
During World War II, Nazi Germany administered amphetamines, which TIME touted as a “miracle drug.” Nazi soldiers took the drugs to increase their alertness and alertness, according to the outlet.
Also during World War II, the Russian Ministry of Defense gave every Russian soldier on the front line a 100-gram ration of vodka, called the commissar ration, according to a Macalester College report.
And during World War I, according to the BBC, use of cocaine and heroin was widespread among soldiers. Department stores even sold drug-taking kits, marketed as nice gifts for combatants on the front lines.
Read the original article on Insider