Ukraine, serious losses for elite Russian intelligence units

Bbc: the third brigade of the Spetsnaz guards of the Gru would have lost three quarters of its men in battle

An elite unit of Russian military intelligence, the third brigade of the Spetsnaz guards of the Gru, would have lost three quarters of the men engaged in reconnaissance activities in battle. The estimate is from the BBC in Russian, relaunched by the Moscow Times.

As with other special units, the number of brigade members is secret. However, the BBC believes it lost 75% of the men on the reconnaissance, based on information gathered on the fallen. From the analysis of public sources, direct and indirect evidence was found of the deaths of 56 members of the brigade since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine. The sister of one of them told the BBC she expected there to be many more. “Do you expect them to tell us?” She commented.

The brigade’s biggest losses would have occurred with the retreat from Lyman last weekend. The dead are at least nine, according to reports from their families to the BBC. “The entire third Spetsnaz brigade was thrown in the garbage, inside the meat grinder,” wrote an anonymous relative of a soldier on the Russian social network VKontakte. Already in March, the BBC had reported in Russian the death of four members of the brigade, led by Colonel Albert Omarov, three of whom were officers. According to the British broadcaster, the brigade suffered heavy losses also because it was forced to perform other tasks in addition to its own intelligence. The death of these soldiers has a very high cost for the Russian army, given that they are well-trained and difficult to replace elite units.