The Russian military executes soldiers who do not follow orders, the White House said.
White House spokesman John Kirby told reporters: “We have information that the Russian military is executing soldiers who refuse to follow orders.
“We also have information that Russian commanders are threatening to execute entire units if they seek to retreat from Ukrainian artillery fire. »
Mr Kirby condemned the alleged threats of execution against the soldiers, calling them “barbaric”.
He added: “But I think it’s a symptom of how poorly the Russian military leadership knows what they’re doing and how poorly they’ve handled the situation from a military perspective. »
Representatives for the Kremlin, the Russian Defense Ministry and the Russian Embassy in the United States did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
It comes after Ukrainian officials said Russian forces were ignoring heavy losses and continuing their efforts to capture the town of Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine.
Mr. Kirby said the forces mobilized by Russia were undertrained, underequipped and unprepared for combat. He said the military was using “human wave tactics” by throwing groups of poorly trained soldiers into combat.