LUGANSK, December 2. /TASS/. Ukrainian service members have been deserting their positions in the special military operation zone after a statement by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen who earlier this week revealed the number of Ukrainian losses over the past nine months, Andrey Marochko, an officer with the Lugansk People’s Republic’s (LPR) People’s Militia, said on Friday, citing intelligence data.
According to him, the scandal over the losses sustained by Ukraine in the course of the special military operation that was provoked by von der Leyen’s remark affected very negatively the morale of Ukrainian troops. "There has been increasingly more saboteurs and people deserting their positions [in the special operation zone], as well as more wrangling with commanders and hazing. Incidents of taking drugs and alcohol have also increased. Besides, social tensions have grown sharply in Ukraine," Marochko said. The families of Ukrainian service people have been storming military commissariats in their cities, defying the risk of arrest.
Von der Leyen said in a video address on Wednesday morning that "more than 100,000 Ukrainian military officers have been killed." After a while, the comment was deleted from the readout of her address, and the video disappeared from Twitter, but was soon posted anew, with the extract in which she mentions Kiev’s military losses missing.