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Russian troops criticize generals over ‘incomprehensible battle’ that reportedly killed 300 in Donetsk

Russian troops criticize generals over ‘incomprehensible battle’ that reportedly killed 300 in Donetsk



CNN

Russian troops condemned “incomprehensible battle” in Donetsk after apparently suffering heavy losses during a week of intense fighting in key eastern region of Ukraine.

Moscow has been trying to breach Kiev’s defenses around the town of Pavlivka for at least seven days, but appears to have made little progress with as many as 300 people killed in action, according to an open letter published on a prominent Russian military blog on Monday.

Men from the Russian Pacific Fleet’s 155th Marine Brigade launched a scathing attack on a senior Russian official in a rare show of defiance, accusing authorities of “hiding” the number of casualties “for fear of being held accountable”.

The letter, reportedly sent from the front lines to a regional Russian governor, came amid Moscow’s faltering offensive in a region that President Vladimir Putin claimed illegally annexed a little over a month ago.

“We were once again thrown into an incomprehensible battle by General Muradov and his son-in-law, his countryman Akhmedov, so that Muradov could earn bonuses to look good in the eyes of Gerasimov (Chief of the Russian General Staff),” the men said in a memo sent to the governor of the Primorsky Krai.

“As a result of the ‘carefully’ planned offensive of the ‘great commanders’, we lost around 300 people, dead and wounded, along with some MUP in the past four days.

“We lost 50% of our equipment. It’s just our brigade. The district command together with Ahmed hides these facts and distorts the official statistics of the victims for fear of being called to account.”

They begged Governor Oleg Kozemjak: “How long will such mediocrities as Muradov and Ahmedov be allowed to continue planning military actions just to keep up the show and get rewards at the cost of so many lives?”

Russian soldiers blamed a senior military official for

Russian military commentators have also criticized the army’s approach to Donetsk.

“The situation in Pavlivka has been discussed at the highest level for several days, and blood is still being shed,” Aleksandr Sladkov, a Russian military journalist who works for All-Russian State Television and Radio, told Telegram.

“The armies say that there is now a dilemma: exhausted units cannot be withdrawn without bringing in fresh ones. There are no fresh units and there is no possibility of withdrawal and replacement due to constant firing,” Russian military journalist Alexei Sukonkin announced on Telegram.

“Why did we withdraw from Pavlivka and now had to retake it?” Alexander Khodakovsky, commander of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, which is backed by Russia, said criticizing Moscow’s tactical approach to the region.

Hodakovsky said the Russian troops used the basements as defensive positions, meaning they did not see any lateral movement by the Ukrainians.

“That’s why a lot of marines were captured, including company commanders. Not because they were weak in spirit, but because they were hostages to their defense organization,” Khodakovski said, adding that Ukrainian reconnaissance troops used high-rise buildings in nearby Vuhledar and cameras mounted on top of mine shafts to guide artillery. strikes.

“The defenders of Pavlivko will be captured again. Supply and rotations will be difficult, they will not be able to move through Pavlivka,” he said.

CNN could not verify how many soldiers signed the letter or their rank, but Governor Kozhemyako confirmed he received the letter from the unit.

“We contacted our Marine commanders on the front lines. These are the guys who have been in the fight since the beginning of the operation,” the governor said on Telegram.

Kožemjako added that the combat commander emphasized that the death of the (Limorski) troops was greatly exaggerated.

“Also, I know firsthand that our fighters on Pavlivka, as well as during the entire special military operation, showed real heroism and unprecedented courage. We inflicted serious damage on the enemy.”

Kozhemyako said that the soldier’s complaint was sent to the military prosecutor’s office.

Russia’s defense ministry issued a rare public response to criticism of the military operation in Donetsk, denying that its forces had suffered “large, senseless losses in men and equipment”.

Russia’s losses in the area of ​​Vuhledar and Pavlivka in the Donetsk region “do not exceed 1% of the combat force and 7% of the wounded, a significant part of which has already returned to duty,” the ministry claimed on Monday, Russian state media reported TASS.

Russian-backed military officials said Ukrainian forces were weakening the Kremlin's offensive in the Donetsk region.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the fierce battle for Donetsk “remains the epicenter of the greatest madness of the occupiers” and refuted Kozhemyak’s claims that Moscow’s losses “are not so great”.

“They die by the hundreds every day,” Zelensky added. “The body in front of the Ukrainian positions is literally littered with the bodies of the occupiers.”

Noting that the governor is some 9,000 kilometers (about 5,500 miles) from the front line, Zelenskiy said: “The governor can probably see better from there how many soldiers are being sent to slaughter from his region and in what way.” Or he was simply ordered to lie.”

Videos on social media and drones in recent days show scores of Russian tanks and other armored vehicles hit around Pavlivka, which is about 50 kilometers southwest of Donetsk and has been on the front line for several months.

The Ukrainian military released footage showing two Russian T-72B tanks and three BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles hit by Ukrainian artillery and anti-tank systems, with senior officials citing heavy shelling in the area.

“The enemy is losing the opportunity to implement his plans,” Oleksiy Khromov, deputy chief of the Ukrainian General Staff’s Operational Directorate, said on Thursday.



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