Ukraine, Russian elite unit turns against commanders

“We were sent to the fray in a disconcerting offensive” in which there were 300 victims, including dead, wounded and missing

The 155th Infantry Brigade of the Pacific Fleet, an elite unit of the Moscow forces, turned against the commanders who ordered the “staggering” assault last Wednesday against the Ukrainian village of Pavlivka, southwest of Donetsk, with 300 victims, including deaths – 63 in two days – wounded and missing in four days of fighting. The operation was set up to take control of a key road for supplies. In addition to the unit commander, the commander of the Eastern Military District, Rustam Muradov, is also criticized.

The surviving soldiers, usually based in Vladivostok, wrote to the governor of the Primorye region. “We have been thrown into a disconcerting offensive,” reads the text of the letter released by pro-war blogger Anastasia Kashevarova and the Telegram channel Gray Zone. The advance was planned, despite a clear strategic disadvantage “only for the benefit of reports and commander rewards”.

“We lost about 300 men in the clashes following a carefully planned offensive by the ‘big commanders. The district commander and the brigade commander are hiding what happened for fear of having to respond. The only thing they care about is getting in. on display. They call us cannon fodder. ” The victims are part of the 155th and 40th brigades, together in the offensive.

The signatories of the letter, who accuse their commanders of being under the protection of Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov, asked the Governor of Primorye, Oleg Kozhemyako, to work with the Kremlin to dispatch a team of independent investigators, then not the defense ministry, to investigate the feasibility of the Pavlivka campaign. Kozhemyako responded by ordering, today, an investigation into possible disinformation by the Ukrainian intelligence services.