A Ukrainian soldier wondered if the Russians advancing on Bakhmut are on drugs: ‘Otherwise, how can they go to certain death?’

  • A Ukrainian soldier said Russian Wagner Group troops in Bakhmut appear to be on drugs.
  • No evidence has emerged showing that Russia or the Wagner Group supply their troops with drugs.
  • Ukrainian soldiers have previously claimed that the Russian troops looked like “zombies”.

A Ukrainian soldier who was fighting in Bakhmut said The New York Times that his unit has sometimes wondered if fighters belonging to Russia’s infamous Wagner Group are on drugs.

While there’s no evidence for that, it’s not the first time Ukrainians have wondered aloud that the behavior of some Russian soldiers could be medically induced.

He wagner group it is a powerful Russian paramilitary unit that has become a key ally in Russia’s advance into Ukraine. The group once provoked controversy when he offered freedom to condemned Russian prisoners in exchange for fighting. Wagner group fighters are notorious for raiding frontline positions and taking heavy casualties.

A retired US Marine estimated that the average life expectancy of a Wagner soldier on the front lines in eastern Ukraine is only four hours. And a 48-year-old prisoner who traded his freedom to serve in the Wagner Group of Russia. told the Wall Street Journal earlier this month that the group only trained him for three weeks and that he expected to die on his first mission.

It’s the kind of behavior that the soldiers of the Ukrainian 3rd Assault Brigade, now fighting the Wagner Group in the key eastern city of Bakhmut, they believe it could be the result of taking drugs. The unit’s media officer told The New York Times that 10 to 15 of Wagner’s fighters were advancing on his position, with almost certain death, every day for the first month of fighting.

“They kill them and they come back,” he told The Times. “Our guys are wondering if they’re on drugs. Otherwise, how can they go to certain death, stepping over the rotting corpses of their colleagues? You can go a little crazy.”

Ukrainians previously speculated that Russian soldiers were taking drugs in November as winter began to make fighting increasingly miserable, saying AFP that the Russian soldiers looked like “zombies”.

“You shoot at them and more are constantly coming,” a soldier said, according to AFP.

another ukrainian soldier told CNN in February that advancing Russian forces looked like a “zombie movie” as they climbed over “the dead bodies of their friends.”

“It seems that it is very, very likely that they were receiving some drugs before the attack,” the soldier told CNN.

While there is no evidence that the Wagner Group fighters are using drugs, there is a long history of drug use in conflict.

During World War II, Nazi Germany administered amphetamines, which were promoted as a “wonder product,” according to TIME. Nazi soldiers took the drugs to increase their alertness and vigilance, according to the outlet.

Also during World War II, the Russian Defense Ministry gave every Russian soldier on the front lines a 100-gram ration of vodka called the commissar’s ration, according to a report from Macalester College.

And in World War I, according to the bbc, cocaine and heroin use was common among soldiers. Department stores even sold medication-taking kits, which were marketed as a good gift For those who fight on the front lines.

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