At least some Russian soldiers are beginning to understand that Ukrainians see them as invaders, not liberators, as can be seen by intercepts of their calls home published by Ukraine’s SBU security service in the Telegram messenger on April 13.
"So many have already been killed, such losses... the locals are not happy,” one Russian soldier told his friend by phone.
“When we were staying in one village, a woman came out and just started firing at the column. When we arrived in Ukraine, wherever there was some fighting and our army, there were inscriptions on the fences: 'Russian invaders, go away! We did not invite you! We did not want you here!' 'Russia is an invader.'"
The soldier admitted to suffering from low morale.
"None of us will be proud of this... I'm more afraid of my comrades-in-arms than the Banderites," he said, using a Russian propaganda term for Ukrainian nationalists.