It was recently reported that a Russian soldier killed in the country’s invasion of Ukraine had a message for his mom shortly before he died, according to an alleged screenshot of their conversation recently shared by Ukrainian officials:
Ukrainian Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya read a portion of the soldier’s purported messages at a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on Monday.
Kyslytsya did not elaborate on how he obtained the texts or other details about the soldier. Ukrainian officials have been mounting something of an international press tour as they ask for help in resisting Russian forces.
Holding up a screenshot of the messages on Monday, Kyslytsya said that the soldier’s texts came in response to worried missives from his mother, who asked, “Why has it been so long since you responded? Are you really in training exercises?”
“Mom, I’m no longer in Crimea,” Kyslytsya said the response — translated from Russian — read. “I’m not in training sessions … Mama, I’m in Ukraine. There is a real war raging here. I’m afraid.”
Russia / Ukraine Poll
“We are bombing all of the cities together, even targeting civilians,” Kyslytsya went on, saying he was quoting the soldier. (Russia denies attacking civilian sites.) “We were told that they would welcome us and they are falling under our armored vehicles … they call us fascists.”
The last text, Kyslytsya read, was this one: “Mama, this is so hard.”
While the messages have only been verified by Ukrainian sources, other reporting has found that low morale among some soldiers could be hindering Russia’s widely denounced push into its neighbor.
As The Washington Post notes, dozens of videos and photos of abandoned Russian military vehicles and stranded military equipment can be found throughout social media and a senior U.S. defense official maintained to Reuters that some Russian units surrendered without a fight in Ukraine.
Russia’s attack, however, continues. The country first invaded on Thursday, with forces moving from the north, south and east.
Details of the fighting change by the day, but this is the first major land conflict in Europe in decades — and hundreds have already been reported dead or wounded, including children. Thousands more people have fled or tried to escape Ukraine amid warnings of a possible “refugee crisis.”
The invasion, ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, has drawn condemnation around the world and increasingly severe economic sanctions against Russia.
Various countries have also pledged aid or military support to Ukraine, whose president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has urged his country to resist as peace talks between the two countries have stalled.
Putin insists Ukraine has historic ties to Russia as well as a security interest there and he is acting in the interest of so-called “peacekeeping.”