Ukraine War: Russia Enlists Singers And Circus Performers To Tackle Troops’ ‘Fragile Morale’

Russia is sending opera singers, actors and circus performers to the front line in Ukraine in an attempt to boost their troops’ “fragile morale”, according to UK intelligence.

The Kremlin announced last week that it was establishing two “creative brigades” as the first anniversary of the start of the war draws closer.

The Russian public have also been urged to donate musical instruments to members of the armed forces in Ukraine.

In their latest intelligence update on the conflict, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the move is “unlikely to alleviate” the concerns that Russian military personnel in Ukraine have over high casualty rates and poor pay.

They said: “On December 14, the Russian Ministry of Defence announced the establishment of two ‘front line creative brigades’ tasked with raising the morale of troops deployed on the ‘special military operation’.

“Russian media reports that the ranks will include opera singers, actors and circus performers. This follows a recent campaign by the Russian MoD to encourage the public to donate musical instruments to deployed soldiers.

“Military music and organised entertainment for deployed troops have a long history in many militaries but in Russia they are strongly intertwined with the Soviet-era concept of ideological political education.

“Fragile morale almost certainly continues to be a significant vulnerability across much of the Russian force.

“However, soldiers’ concerns primarily focus on very high casualty rates, poor leadership, pay problems, lack of equipment and ammunition, and lack of clarity about the war’s objectives.

“The creative brigades’ efforts are unlikely to substantively alleviate these concerns.”

UK intelligence have previously reported that Russian military chiefs have been hit by “factional tensions” over the country’s struggles in Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin is also rumoured to have sacked a senior army boss amid growing concerns in Moscow at how the war is going.

In a further sign that the invasion of Ukraine is not going to plan for Russia, it emerged last week that Putin had cancelled his traditional end-of-year press conference.

It will be the first time in a decade that the Q&A – normally a fixture of the Moscow political calendar – has not gone ahead.

The cancellation came as Russia’s spokesman Dimitry Peskov admitted that “no one likes us” as evidence mounts that Putin’s military strategy is not going to plan.

Ukraine has successfully reclaimed 54% of the land Russia has seized since its February invasion, with Moscow now controlling just 18% of the country.

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