Intercepted phone calls suggest Russian commanders could be selling out the location of soldiers for cash
Russian Soldiers (AFP)

The Russian military is different from the U.S. military in that their top leaders are on site to make decisions, meaning they have a greater chance of being killed. At least one of those military leaders appears to be selling out his troops to Ukraine, The Daily Beast reported Tuesday.

A Russian colonel was accused of selling the locations of his own soldiers, an audio recording released by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate revealed. The recording is a man saying he is a Russian soldier and a female friend. The recording doesn't cite a specific place in Ukraine, but he was complaining of constant shelling.

He then tells the unnamed woman at a squadron of the “31st Brigade” was given up by their own colonel, referring to the 31st Guards Air Assault Brigade, the Daily Beast described.

“The airborne troops taken captive?” the man asks.

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“Yes, yes, 76 people were taken,” the woman replies. "They were sold out by their own." She then names “Colonel Matkovsky" as the one who did it.

“There have already been many such instances,” the man tells her, saying that they're leaking information.

“It’s true, it’s true. I later spoke with a FSBishnik [an agent of Russia’s Federal Security Service] … and he said yes, it’s all true. They found 17 million in his account,” she said.

She then asks about the currency that the colonel was paid in and suggested it was American dollars, implying it was intelligence agencies from the U.S. who paid for the locations.

“It’s understandable, the stinking U.S. is suffering. They have hunger, cold,” she said.

The U.S. government has confirmed previously that they turned over intelligence about the whereabouts of top Russian military leaders and their troop movements.

"But the 31st Guards Air Assault Brigade, one of Russia’s most elite airborne units, suffered heavy losses in a Russian offensive outside Kyiv in late February and early March, and several Russian troops were said to have been captured at that time," said the report.