Ukrainian forces retook the town of Izium on September 9 after months of Russian occupation.
In their hasty retreat, the Russian soldiers left behind letters and other personal belongings, according to the WaPo report.
The letters provide insight into the physical and mental toll the war took on Russian soldiers.
About 10 days before the Ukrainian army recaptured the town of Izium in the Kharkiv region on September 9, Russian soldiers wrote at least 10 letters to their superiors, asking to be relieved of active duty due to “moral exhaustion”, “deteriorating” health, and lack of vacation time to see their families.
“I refuse to perform my duty in the special operation on the territory of Ukraine due to lack of vacation days and moral exhaustion,” wrote a person identifying himself as a commander, according to a letter obtained. by the Washington Post.
The 10 letters, dated August 30, were among many personal effects left behind in Izium as the Russian army hastily withdrew from the area after months of occupation.
Ukrainian soldiers provided original copies of the letters to The Post, which reported on the correspondence. Some of them were also posted on Twitter. The Post, however, clarified that the authenticity of the letters had not been confirmed by independent forensic experts.
One soldier wrote that he hoped to be released from duty due to ‘worsening of my health and not receiving necessary medical assistance’. Another wrote that he suffered from “physical and moral exhaustion”, The Post reported.
Other letters revealed that Russian soldiers did not receive vacations and missed important family events such as weddings or the birth of a child.
All 10 letters appeared to be written the same way, The Post reported, suggesting they were written together.
The content of the letters also shares some of the weary sentiments that other Russian soldiers have expressed in recent days as Ukrainian forces reclaim thousands of square kilometers of land.
In a call that was intercepted by Ukrainian intelligence, a Russian soldier told his father: “It’s all bad, pop… We lose, definitely, on top of that.”
The extent of the losses in the Kharkiv region is gradually becoming clearer.
On Thursday, a mass grave containing at least 440 bodies was discovered in Izium, according to a tweet by Iuliia Mendel, the former spokeswoman for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and other journalists.
Read the original article on Business Insider