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



CNN

Russian forces have condemned the “mysterious battle” in Donetsk after appearing to have sustained heavy losses in a week of fierce fighting in the key eastern Ukraine.

Moscow has been trying to break through Kyiv’s defenses around the town of Pavlivka for at least the past seven days, but it appears to have made little progress with 300 men killed in action, according to an open letter published in Popular Russian. military blog on Monday.

The men of the 155th Brigade of the Russian Pacific Fleet Marines began sharply criticizing a senior Russian official for the unusual act of insubordination, accusing the authorities of “hiding” the number of casualties “for fear of accountability.”

The letter, believed to have been sent from the front line to the Russian governor of the region, came amid a chilling attack by Moscow on the region that President Vladimir Putin says it illegally seized just a month ago.

“Once again we were thrown into a mysterious battle by General Muradov and his brother, his countryman Akhmedov, so that Muradov could get bonuses to make him look good in the eyes of Gerasimov (Chief of the General Staff of Russia),” the men said in a memo, sent to the governor of Primorsky Krai.

“Due to the ‘deliberate’ attack planned by the ‘top brass’ we have lost about 300 men, dead and wounded, and some MIA in the last four days.

“We lost 50% of our equipment. That’s just our group. The district manager and Akhmedov are hiding these facts and distorting the numbers of injured people because they are afraid of being held accountable.”

They appealed to the Governor Oleg Kozhemyako saying: “How long will lowly people like Muradov and Akhmedov be allowed to continue planning to fight so that they can continue to show up and get medals for killing so many people?”

Russian soldiers blame a high-ranking military officer

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

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

“Soldiers say there is a problem now: tired units cannot be withdrawn without the introduction of new ones. There are no new units and there is no reason to withdraw and replace because of constant shelling,” Russian military journalist Alexei Sukonkin, also wrote in Telegram. .

“Why did we withdraw from Pavlivka and have to retake it now?” Aleksander Khodakovsky, a Russian-backed commander from the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, criticized Moscow’s strategic approach to the region.

Khodakovsky said Russian forces were using the basements as shelters, meaning they could not see the Ukrainians’ movements.

That is why a small number of marines, including company commanders, were captured at that time. Not because they were weak in the air, but because they were captured by their defense organization, “said Khodakovsky, adding that the Ukrainian soldiers used high-rise buildings in the nearby Vuhledar and cameras mounted on top of mine shafts to guide the artillery. strike.

“Pavlivka’s defenders will be arrested again. Supply and circulation will be difficult, it is impossible to travel through Pavlivka,” he said.

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

“We contacted our Marine commanders on the priority list. These guys have been fighting since the beginning of this operation,” the governor said in a Telegram.

Kozhemyako added that the war commander emphasized that the death of the troops (of Primorsky) was greatly exaggerated.

“I know from the beginning that our soldiers showed in Pavlivka, and throughout the entire special forces period, true bravery and unprecedented courage. We inflicted great damage on the enemy.”

Kozhemyako says the complaint made by the soldiers has been sent to the military prosecutor’s office.

Russia’s defense minister issued a rare public response to criticism of the military operation in Donetsk, denying that its forces had suffered “massive, senseless losses in people and weapons.”

Russian losses in the area of ​​Vuhledar and Pavlivka in the Donetsk region “do not exceed 1% of the fighting force and 7% of the wounded, most of whom have already returned to work,” the office said on Monday, Russian media reported. TASS agency reported.

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

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the brutal battle for Donetsk “remains the center of the civil unrest” and disputed Kozhemyako’s claims that Moscow’s losses were “not so great.”

“Hundreds die every day,” Zelensky added. “The ground in front of the Ukrainian positions is littered with civilian bodies.”

Noting that the governor was about 9,000 kilometers (about 5,500 miles) from the front line, Zelensky said: “The governor can better see how many military men are sent to be killed in his area.” Or he was simply ordered to lie.”

Social media and drone videos in the past few days show dozens of Russian tanks and other armored vehicles hit near Pavlivka, which is about 50 kilometers southwest of Donetsk and was several months ago.

The Ukrainian army released a picture showing two Russian T-72B tanks and three BMP-2 armored vehicles hit by Ukrainian anti-tank and anti-tank systems, with senior officials referring to the attack as heavily dependent on the area.

“The enemy is losing the opportunity to implement their plans,” said Oleksii Hromov, deputy head of the Open Operations Directorate of the General Staff, on Thursday.

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