Title: Russian Penal Units ‘Storm-Z’ Sent on Dangerous Frontlines in Ukraine
Jala News – Russian penal units, famously known as “Storm-Z” squads, have been deploying military and civilian offenders to the frontlines in Ukraine throughout this year. These squads, consisting of insubordinate soldiers, convicts, and drunk recruits, are considered expendable infantry and face the most perilous parts of the conflict.
Operating under the direct command of the Russian defense ministry, the Storm-Z squads are embedded within regular army units. However, details about their formation or the extent of losses they have incurred remain undisclosed by the ministry.
In battles against Ukrainian forces, the Storm-Z squads have suffered heavy casualties. President Vladimir Putin himself acknowledged that former prisoners within the squads had perished in action, suggesting that they had, in his eyes, absolved themselves of guilt.
This unique deployment marks a departure for Russia in its involvement in Ukraine. Unlike the controversial Wagner mercenary group, the Storm-Z squads fall under the purview of the defense ministry. They comprise a combination of convicts who volunteer to fight in exchange for a pardon and regular soldiers being disciplined for various breaches.
Some soldiers have found themselves transferred to the Storm-Z units as punishment for being intoxicated or using drugs while on duty. This has raised concerns about the overall discipline and integrity within the Russian military ranks.
In a notable incident, a group of Storm-Z fighters stationed in Zaporizhzhia captured a video in June, expressing their complaints about mistreatment and refusing to carry out further combat missions. As a response, military police officers subjected these rebellious fighters to physical assaults, serving as a sharp reminder of the harsh consequences awaiting those who defy orders.
Among the affected soldiers, their relatives have shared their fear and concern for their loved ones involved in the ongoing conflict. The families worry about the safety and welfare of these individuals, emphasizing the risks they face on the dangerous frontlines.
As the Russian defense ministry has chosen to shroud the operations of the Storm-Z squads in secrecy, it becomes increasingly important to monitor the impact and implications of their deployment in Ukraine.
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