Russia Sending Singers, Circus Peformers to Front to Boost ‘Fragile Morale’ – UK Intel

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Russia is establishing two “front line creative brigades” and encouraging the public to donate instruments to troops in order to bolster “fragile morale”, according to Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD).

“On 14 December 2022, 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’,” the MoD explained in their daily intelligence update on the Russo-Ukrainian war on Sunday.

“Russian media reports that the ranks will include opera singers, actors and circus performers,” they added, observing that the establishment of the “creative brigades” follows on the heels of a “campaign by the Russian MoD to encourage the public to donate musical instruments to deployed soldiers.”
The British conceded that “[m]ilitary music and organised entertainment for deployed troops have a long history in many militaries” — indeed, the British armed forces are famous for their own brass bands and massed pipes and drums — but argued that “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,” the MoD opined, suggesting that singers, circus acts, and musical instruments would not prove equal to the task of restoring it.

“[Russian] 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 British asserted.

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

Notably absent from the update was any real assessment of the battle for Ukraine as such, with the front seemingly having been fairly static since the Ukrainians’ recapture of Kherson, the only regional capital taken by the Russians, in mid-November.

On the backfoot in most areas, the Russians are believed to be keeping up a fierce fight for the Donbas city of Bakhmut — the MoD claimed that mobilised Russian reservists were being “killed in large numbers in frontal assaults into well-established Ukrainian defensive zones” around the city towards the end of last month — with the battle described as a “meat grinder” for both sides.

Ukraine’s leadership are also warning of the possibility of another large-scale offensive by Russian forces towards the capital city of Kyiv (Kiev) as early as January 2023, involving up to 200,000 freshly-training reservists.

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