Ukraine: Strenuous fighting affects soldiers’ morale

Separately, Ukraine’s Central Intelligence Directorate released what it said were intercepted calls in which Russian soldiers complain about conditions on the front lines, faulty equipment and understaffing, according to a report by the Institute for the Study of War.

In an interview published Sunday , NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said “no one knows” how long the war could last.

“We need to be prepared for it to last for years,” he said.

Four months of intense fighting in Ukraine appear to be affecting the mood of soldiers on both sides of the conflict, sparking defections and acts of insubordination, British defense officials said Sunday.

Meanwhile, the NATO chief warned that the war could drag on for “years.”

“Combat units on both sides are committed to the intense fighting in the Donbas and are possibly experiencing a variable moral state,” the British Defence Ministry said in its daily assessment of the conflict.

Ukrainian forces may have suffered defections in recent weeks, the assessment said. He added that “Quite possibly the Russian moral state remains particularly disturbed.”

He said that “there continue to be cases where entire Russian units refuse to follow orders and of armed clashes between officers and their troops.”