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White House says Russia is executing its own soldiers for not following orders

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House on Thursday said Russia is executing soldiers who have failed to follow orders and threatening entire units with death if they retreat from Ukrainian artillery fire.

It’s a development that U.S. national security officials believe reflects Russia’s morale problems 20 months into its grinding invasion of Ukraine, said White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.

“They are in such desperate need to make some kind of progress, particularly in the Donbas, the Donetsk areas, that they are literally throwing young men into the fight who haven’t been properly trained, haven’t been properly equipped, and certainly are not being properly led,” Kirby said.

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