Around 60 elite Russian paratroopers have reportedly staged a mutiny and have refused to fight in Ukraine in what is being seen as the lest setback for Russian President Vladimir Putin. As part of Russia's assault on Ukraine, this elite force from Pskov was dispatched to Belarus. However, the recently refused to fight and were sent in disgrace back to their base in Pskov.
These elite paratroopers are now facing jail time for insubordination. Some of these men have been fired and labelled "cowards," while others will face the Russian equivalent of a court-martial, which will almost certainly result in jail time.
Defying Putin's Orders
The troops had been sent to Belarus as part of the invasion force, but they were ordered back to their base in Pskov in disgrace after their mutiny. However, not after being resent to Belarus, many have been branded "cowards", while several other sacked. Other fail jail time.
One of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu's deputies is said to have been dispatched to Pskov to deal with the insubordination. Even though Pskov is a main HQ of Russia's most elite airborne forces, Ukraine claimed the troops were elite paratroopers, but this has yet to be confirmed.
Russian opposition outlet Pskovskaya Guberniya reported: "About 60 servicemen from Pskov refused to go to war on Ukrainian territory, according to our sources. After the first days of the war, they were first brought to the Republic of Belarus, and then they returned to their base in Pskov.
"Most of them are currently being dismissed, but some are threatened with criminal cases."
It's the latest in a string of incidents in which Russian forces have refused to carry out Putin's orders to invade Ukraine and 'deNazify' the country.
Setback for Putin
Earlier, Vladimir Safronov, a 23-year-old Russian soldier from Pskov, informed his Ukrainian interrogators about rationing issues and how his superiors were plundering the civilian population.
"Things are bad with food, we are constantly saving it," he said.
"Very often we have a situation that a ration for one person is shared between two people. We are eating mostly what we find inside [civilian] houses [in occupied Ukraine]."
He went on: "There is a lot of looting, I've personally seen it. I don't support it, it was mainly senior sergeants and the commander who did it."
There have already been enough setbacks for Putin, with over 20,000 Russian soldiers having been reportedly killed in the war and now the mutiny shows the growing resentment among his troops.
Also, this isn't the first time Putin has been humiliated since the Ukraine conflict began. Putin has notoriously shown his impatience with his troops and staff, having set examples of FSB agents and some of his closest advisors, branding anyone going against him as "traitors".