Russia-Ukraine War

Russian Unit Decimated Near Kharkiv, Soldier Blames Moscow for 'Massacre'

Main image to the post Russian Unit Decimated Near Kharkiv, Soldier Blames Moscow for 'Massacre'

A crack Russian unit of fighters, the 1009th regiment, was nearly decimated during intense fighting near Kharkiv, rendering it effectively inoperable. The devastating loss occurred last weekend during battles for Vovchansk, a city located 73 kilometers northeast of Kharkiv. Vovchansk has become a focal point of heavy fighting since Russian troops launched a surprise attack in the Kharkiv region in early May.

Despite initial gains, the Russians have faced fierce resistance from Ukrainian troops, who are receiving fresh supplies of critical weapons from the United States. This resistance has slowed the Russian advance, and the situation on the ground remains fluid.

A pro-Russian military blogger reported on his Telegram channel that the 1009th regiment, composed primarily of mobilized soldiers from the Pskov region in northwest Russia, had been wiped out during the fierce battles in Vovchansk. The blogger, writing on his "Northern Channel," expressed sorrow for the losses, stating, "They stood until the last... Dark days for our guys and their relatives in the Kharkiv direction."

The blogger blamed the commanders for the losses, claiming they failed to adapt to the changing realities of the battlefield. He also acknowledged the difficulties faced by the Russians in controlling Vovchansk, writing, "It has become difficult in recent days. Don’t read the victory reports... There is heavy fighting and those advances of 300 metres in the morning may end in a retreat of 500 metres by evening. Two houses on the same street may end up under the control of either one, then others."

Anton Andreev, a contract soldier from the 1009th regiment, corroborated the heavy losses in an interview with the Russian media channel Astra. He stated that out of 100 soldiers in his unit, only 12 survived, representing an 88% loss rate. Andreev described harrowing scenes of troops being mowed down by machine gun fire and drones. He blamed officials in Moscow for the massacre, vowing to take revenge on those responsible.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09