A Russian soldier stationed in Andriivka, Donetsk region, has voiced serious concerns about the challenging conditions he and his fellow soldiers are facing, which include a lack of proper equipment and air support.
In an interview with Radio Liberty, Denis Ivanov (pseudonym used for privacy) expressed his deep distress over the significant casualties suffered by his comrades, painting a grim picture of the situation within his 94th Regiment.
According to the publication, on September 17, Ivanov was set to take his first vacation since the start of the so-called partial mobilization. However, just three days before his departure, he called his wife to share his fears of potential imminent danger.
Ivanov’s family revealed that he called in a state of panic, explaining that out of an original regiment of a thousand soldiers, only four hundred remained.
“He called on Thursday (September 14 – ed.) and said that the Ukrainian Armed Forces were advancing on Andriivka and pushing toward Bakhmut. They’re sending us into Andriivka with minimal weaponry, practically resorting to using shovels, and we’re lacking artillery support,” he reported.
Describing the seemingly hopeless situation, he continued by quoting her husband as saying, “There’s no retreat because there are people behind us who won’t spare us either.”
It’s worth noting that Russia’s use of “barrier units” has been documented throughout the Ukraine conflict, and previous incidents have shown Russian troops fleeing from combat and being attacked by their own side.
Ivanov highlighted a stark contrast in casualty numbers, with only four hundred soldiers out of a thousand remaining in the regiment, while official reports claimed “only 2-3 casualties.”
Ivanov later spoke directly with reporters, stating, “We send twenty-five people on a mission, and only six return. Our artillerymen are currently launching assaults. They were told, ‘You still have no ammunition; go in as infantry.’ But the guys don’t even know what an assault is. Essentially, they send us there as cannon fodder. We need coordinates for our artillery and information about the targets we should engage, but our artillery can’t function because they lack shells.”
“When you report this situation to the command, their response is ‘So what?’ That’s a direct quote: ‘So what?'” he lamented.
Ivanov criticized the practice of sending his colleagues into Andriivka with the expectation that many won’t return, alleging that Russian soldiers are ordered to capture what remains of the village despite heavy Ukrainian artillery fire.
“The Ukrainian Armed Forces’ artillery is constantly active. They allow you to enter the village, but they won’t let you leave. Everyone is well aware of this,” he explained.
The account provided by Radio Liberty regarding the situation for Russian forces on the ground is corroborated by recent reports from other Russian sources.
A staunchly pro-Kremlin journalist recently conducted an interview with another Russian soldier, detailing the fierce battles for the village of Klishchiivka, situated just a few kilometers from Andriivka.
This soldier described Ukraine’s devastating use of artillery and cluster munitions and marveled at their ability to establish solid defensive positions in captured areas.
“Their artillery is highly accurate and effective, and they spare no shells. Previously, they ceased firing when we approached within 150 meters of their positions. Now, they bombard us even when we are within 50 meters,” the soldier reported.
He claimed that any successful attempts to seize Ukrainian positions are met with devastating artillery fire that quickly levels them.
In closing, he arrived at a somber conclusion: “Their advantage in artillery, observation, and air support is decisive.”
Furthermore, a Russian politician recently penned a remarkably candid account of the situation, highlighting the evolving tactics of the Ukrainian counteroffensive that Moscow’s forces are struggling to counter.
Andrey Gurulyov, a State Duma member and former deputy military commander, stated that the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) have found ways to overcome obstacles, including extensive Russian minefields, which had previously slowed down Kyiv’s counteroffensive.
“The enemy has learned to navigate our well-laid minefields. They skillfully clear them using artillery fire and mine rollers,” Gurulyov noted. Echoing previous accounts, he added that Ukraine has shifted away from large-group attacks and now employs what he called “squeeze-out tactics.”
“They make extensive use of cluster munitions, targeting our unit’s strong points and assault groups. They have ample ammunition and aim to eliminate everything,” he explained.
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