• In a video, a Russian soldier was seen shooting at trees with a rocket launcher
  • 2 Russian soldiers were also seen engaged in mock combat using swords
  • Ukrainians also retrieved a digital camera believed to have been looted by Russian soldiers

The Secret Service of Ukraine (SSU) said it confiscated the mobile of a Russian soldier and found several TikTok videos in it of Russian troops dancing and shooting at trees amid the ongoing war.

In a video compilation posted on the SSU’s Facebook page Monday, two Russian soldiers armed with swords were seen engaged in mock combat. In another part of the video, Russian soldiers were seen shooting at trees in a Ukrainian forest. One soldier was even recorded targeting and shooting at trees using a rocket launcher while his comrades watched nearby.

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The SSU did not reveal the identity of the device’s owner.

The video was one of several clips and photos depicting the lives of Russian soldiers in Ukraine amid the war. On Tuesday, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFERL) shared photographs taken from a digital camera that was retrieved by members of Ukraine’s 24th Mechanized Brigade in the eastern region of Luhansk in mid-May.

The digital camera included 11 photos and three brief videos made by the Russian troops. In one of the photos, the soldiers, who donned white armbands, were seen sitting leisurely on several log benches. They were part of Russia’s 31st Armored Brigade.

A Ukrainian serviceman belonging to the 24th Mechanized Brigade told the publication that they recovered the digital camera inside a Russian vehicle they destroyed. The camera is believed to have been looted by the Russians from a Ukrainian family.

“Russians took the camera with them in a BMD [amphibious fighting vehicle] and after the successful destruction of the vehicle’s crew this camera was found inside,” the Ukrainian soldier said.

It was not presently clear whether the Russian soldiers in the photos survived the fighting. Ukrainian authorities are now working to return the camera to its owner.

“We sincerely hope that everything is fine with the owners of the camera, whose shots the Russians have not even started to delete from the memory card," the 24th Mechanized Brigade said in a Facebook post. "Soon we will be able to return their camera, which has come such a long way.”

A Russian  soldier on patrol in Kherson
A Russian soldier on patrol in Kherson AFP / Olga MALTSEVA