UK intelligence tells how Russian army punishes drug addicts, alcoholics
Russian commanders punish drug addicts and alcoholics among the military by sending them to Storm-Z assault units, which have effectively become penal battalions
This is stated in a report by the UK Defense Ministry.
In September 2023, the independent Russian media outlet Verstka reported that up to 15% of Russian soldiers in Ukraine use drugs, including amphetamines and cannabis, and that they are easy to get even on the front lines.
British intelligence believes that these reports are credible, given the numerous reports of a large number of disciplinary violations, crimes and deaths related to alcohol abuse among Russian military personnel.
According to the UK Defense Ministry, Russian commanders often send drug addicts and alcoholics to Storm Z assault units to punish them.
“One of the core drivers of poor Russian discipline and substance abuse likely remains the continued lack of opportunity for combat troops to rotate away from the front line,” the intelligence said.
- When the Storm-Z units were created, Russia probably initially envisioned them as elite units that could seize the tactical initiative at the front in Ukraine. However, they have actually become penal battalions with convicts.