White House: Russia is executing soldiers who refuse to follow orders

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WASHINGTON – The United States has information that the Russian military is executing soldiers who do not follow orders related to the war with Ukraine, the White House said on Thursday.

“We have information that the Russian military has been actually executing soldiers who refuse to follow orders,” White House spokesperson John Kirby told reporters.

“We also have information that Russian commanders are threatening to execute entire units if they seek to retreat from Ukrainian artillery fire,” Kirby said.

Representatives from the Kremlin, the Russian defense ministry, and the Russian embassy to the United States did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Ukrainian officials said on Wednesday that Russian forces were disregarding heavy losses and pressing on with a drive to capture the eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka.

The United States has strongly condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and is providing aid to Kiev.

Kirby said Russia’s mobilized forces were undertrained, underequipped, and unprepared for combat. He said the military was using “human wave tactics” by throwing groups of poorly trained soldiers into the fight.

Kirby said threats to execute the soldiers was barbaric.

“I think it’s a symptom of… how poorly Russia’s military leaders know they’re doing and how bad they have handled this from a military perspective,” he said. REUTERS

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