RUSSIAN doctors are in despair as Vladimir Putin's troops fighting in Ukraine are returning home as "aggressive zombies".
Soldiers – many of them mobilised against their will – are behaving like "animals" after being psychologically warped by the horrors they have experienced.
Many have turned to drink and drugs to cope with the memories of brutality and merciless cruelty, a shocking new report says.
But they are bringing the horrors of the frontline to their own doorsteps, as they have returned with a chilling thirst for violence.
A senior health official who is treating a legion of disturbed Russians warned: "Aggressive zombies will soon fill the streets of our cities."
The doctor told news outlet Novaya Vkladka: "They will massively beat and even kill passers-by.
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"And how to prevent it, I personally do not know.
"I just do not see other scenarios for the development of the situation with those who returned from the special military operation."
The calamitous human cost of Putin's war has stoked fears that Russia will face a "cheap zombie apocalypse" – fuelled by booze and drugs.
More than a quarter of a million troops have been killed or physically maimed in the brutal war since it began 18 months ago.
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But those who make it home alive are returning to a different kind of warzone altogether.
The anonymous health official said he is surrounded by "wounded, amputees, drug addicts, alcoholics, [and] people with mental and psychological problems."
Despite working in Kemerovo, a Siberian region four times zones east of the war, he says it has been overwhelmed by traumatised troops.
"Injuries, PTSD – this is all, of course, a problem, it needs to be dealt with, but the main, in my opinion, problem in terms of prevalence and potential danger is addictions," he said.
"Simply put, a lot of those who returned [from the war] are either alcoholics or, more often, drug addicts."
World War II troops infamously went into battle drugged up to their eyeballs on methamphetamines in the hopes of being more alert.
It has been claimed that Adolf Hitler himself was a "super-junkie", who was routinely injected with cocaine and a heroin-like opiate.
The medic said available doctors in Russia are each expected to handle between 200 and 250 unhinged war returnees each month.
He claimed the main substances being abused by fighters are amphetamines, including speed.
"And here everything is much more complicated and sadder in terms of the prospects for treatment and subsequent socialisation."
Chilling footage showed several soldiers in a trance-like state while being awarded bravery medals for their role in the invasion.
The wounded troops sat silently in a row of wheelchairs with disturbingly blank expressions while deputy defence minister Alexander Fomin hailed their war efforts in March.
Some demoralised and disillusioned soldiers have fled the frontline in tears or surrendered without a fight to escape the savagery.
The doctor revealed "almost every other person" returning from Putin's bloody war admits to the use of psycho-stimulants.
He described the fight against the crisis as "hopeless" due to a huge shortage of doctors, with many medics leaving due to the intolerable pressures.
"This special military operation [war] is like another tombstone on the grave. There are almost no doctors left," the health chief said.
A large portion of Russian doctors are being forced to work in the war zone in occupied Ukraine, or face losing their jobs.
Under an order from the health ministry, neuropathologists are each expected to take on 300 war returnees a month on top of their existing caseloads, said another medic.
He told how a stormtrooper in the notorious Wagner mercenary army had become hellbent on inflicting violence.
"He had never beaten [his wife] before," the doctor explained.
"He came back from the war a different person. The woman filed for divorce.
"This patient is really extremely aggressive, cannot control himself in the company of other people, and is constantly looking for conflict."
It is like a cheap zombie apocalypse, where it is scary for a normal person.
He said the prognosis for treating the soldier wasn't hopeful, "given the degree of drug dependence and early stages of PTSD".
The doctor – also anonymous for fear of retribution by Putin’s regime – asked: "What we can do?
"Only remove the acute condition with sedative drugs. Again, long-term work of a clinical psychologist is needed.
"But this, I am almost 100 per cent sure, will not happen. There are thousands of patients and a handful of doctors and psychologists."
He discussed his fears that the troop could overdose, harm an innocent member of the public or harm themselves.
The first health official pointed out that they have been trained to inflict extreme pain and "have learned to kill."
He continued: "Their psyche has changed, including by drugs.
"Moreover, many of them went to war not to defend their ‘homeland’ but in order to get out of a pre-trial detention centre or a penal colony early.
"So it was difficult to call them angels before. And now they are mostly animals, sorry to put it so harshly.
"It is like a cheap zombie apocalypse, where it is scary for a normal person."
The Ukrainian President previously raised concerns as Russian troops were dispatched on "suicidal" blind charges on the frontline.
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Generals force their men to run headfirst into machine gun fire, seeing the tactics dubbed "zombie waves" by Volodymyr Zelensky.
Conscripts are effectively treated like cannon fodder, which has only exacerbated the horrifically high casualty rate among Russian forces.
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