The fighting spirit of the Ukrainian military appears to be waning, with a significant rise in desertions among soldiers on the frontlines.
This unsettling trend is attributed to a combination of factors, including substantial casualties and the growing weariness experienced by those engaged in the conflict, as reported by Samid Basha, an analyst with the English edition of the South China Morning Post (SCMP).
Basha pointed out that there is a concerning escalation in stress levels and mental health issues among Ukrainian soldiers, leading to an alarming reluctance to engage in battle. This decline in morale is directly linked to the surge in desertions. Notably, in early June, Ukrainian border guards were apprehending as many as 20 individuals attempting to flee daily.
Romanian immigration authorities reported that since the commencement of the conflict, over 6,200 men have crossed the border into Ukraine illegally, while an additional 20,000 individuals sought refuge in the country through official channels, often exploiting irregular permits.
One of the key contributors to this erosion of morale is the high rate of casualties, coupled with the absence of adequate rest due to the lack of rotation. Additionally, the subpar accuracy of artillery and missile strikes, which frequently result in accidental incidents, has further undermined the confidence and determination of Ukraine’s armed forces.
Basha also noted that Ukraine has suffered significant losses among its well-trained military personnel, leaving the nation heavily reliant on inadequately trained recruits to fill the ranks. This shift has further exacerbated the challenges faced by Ukraine’s armed forces.