A Russian soldier has vowed to burn his passport and adopt an American name over frustration with the war in Ukraine, according to a purported phone call intercepted by the Ukrainian military.
In a recording of the call released by Ukraine’s Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) last week, the soldier complains to his mother that Russia “can’t even secure a forest belt,” according to a translation published by The Kyiv Post on Wednesday.
In the call, the soldier’s mother informs her son that “something secret was discussed” about a “breakthrough to somewhere” during “meetings with Putin and the Security Council.” She said that “there is absolutely no trust in their reports.”
The soldier’s mother says that Russian media is claiming the city of Kupyansk in the Kharkiv region, which Ukraine retook during its successful counteroffensive in September 2022, will soon be back in Russian hands. She then asks her son if the Russian military “really needs Kupyansk.”
“We can’t even secure a forest belt here, and they still want to win back Kupyansk,” the soldier replies.
After being informed of Russian territory being breached by pro-Ukrainian groups and plans for the United States to send Abrams tanks to the battlefield to aid Ukraine’s war effort, the soldier said that he hopes to cut ties with Russia after his service ends.
“When I come back, I’ll burn this Russian passport, change my last name—forget it all,” he says. “I’ll give myself an English or American surname.”
His mother sighs and replies, “Yes, I also agree.”
The timing of the purported call is unclear, although the plan for the U.S. to send Abrams tanks to Ukraine was first announced in January. Newsweek is unable to independently verify the authenticity of the call or its content.
Newsweek reached out to the Russian Ministry of Defense via email for comment on Wednesday.
The recording from last week was far from the only phone call to purportedly feature the complaints of a Russian soldier during a conversation with family. GUR has released several similar calls to the public during the nearly 20-month war.
Last week, audio of a purported call released by GUR features a soldier admitting to his wife that he faked videos from the front lines to convince Russian military leaders of battlefield success that is not actually happening.
“I’ve also recorded bulls*** on the camera on my phone… but it’s a play,” the soldier says, according to The Kyiv Post. “I dressed everyone up, put them in positions, and I went f****** through the trenches, shouting how ‘f****** incredibly’ they all fought.”
In an alleged call released by GUR in August, a Russian troop informs his mother that Moscow’s military brass told soldiers that the “crazy situation” of the war is “here to stay” until 2026.