The soldier claimed the attack took place near Staromayorske, a small village along Ukraine’s spinal attack towards Berdyansk.
Ukrainian forces, led by units of the 35th and 38th marine brigades, liberated nearby Urozhaine on August 16 and have since quickened the pace of their attack along that line.
In an audio message published on Telegram by a channel sympathetic to the Wagner Group, the unnamed soldier, purportedly from the 247th VDV Regiment, can be heard angrily talking about being “busy trying to return the bodies of my friends”, before adding: “Everyday a lot of guys die at the front.”
While the message is indicative of Ukrainian success in terms of enemy personnel destruction, it also suggests those units have “pinned” elements of the larger Russian division and “prevented them from laterally redeploying to [other] critical areas of the front”, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a US-based think tank.
In the message, which is published in full at the bottom of this article, the supposed Russian soldier claims that his commanders are refusing to collect the dead bodies of his comrades.
He later suggested that when he was instructed to do the collection, the command started to “interfere” and “set up operatives from the military FSB (Russia’s security service; formerly the KGB)” to oversee the mission.
He concludes the message by saying: “I ask you not to interfere with me, because I’m busy f***ing business, I’m trying to get the guys back.
“If they interfere with me, then the names of these people will end up here.”
This intervention is likely to be part of a wider Kremlin attempt to ensure personnel losses, especially visual confirmation of such losses, are not made public.
The latest US estimates suggest 120,000 Russian soldiers have been killed since February 24, 2022, while roughly 70,000 Ukrainians have died.
But the message also suggests that Russian milblogger claims that the 247th regiment had been moved to Robotyne 60 miles west, where Ukrainian forces are rapidly advancing, are inaccurate.
The spinal attack through Staromayorske has appeared secondary to the attack through Robotyne towards Melitopol, a vital logistics hub on the coast of the Sea of Azov.
Various regiments of the 7th Guards Mountain Airborne (VDV) Division, of which the 247th is one, have reportedly been redeployed to defend those positions as Ukrainians breach their first defensive fortification, named the “Surovikin line” after a former general of the entire “special military operation”.
This audio message suggests that Ukrainian forces are effectively preventing some of those regiments from shoring up defences near Robotyne.
This main line of attack is proving mightily effective as heavy Western equipment, including British Challenger 2 tanks, are rolled into the battle.
Read the Russian soldiers full message below
“Hello guys, in short, this is the situation I have today. I am busy trying to return the bodies of my friends and here of the forty-seventh regiment, who died in a contaminated direction near a populated area.
“The old major command is not doing this, the command has put a big fat one on everything.
“This is what I do. When I learned that I was doing this, the command started to interfere with me, they set up operatives from the military FSB there to do all sorts of crap.
“So, I’m recording this voice message today so that you just know that if something happens to me there, damn it, it’s only because I got into this situation in a different way.
“I couldn’t do it. Eh, in one combat day, actually 49 guys died. My friends from my regiment died there, the guys with whom I started out in a puddle.
“Now, if someone comes to you, well, it’s f***ed up to deceive about losses. Can you give them a voice message?
“Let them f***ing listen to it like it is. Every day a lot of guys die at the front. Here is the anthem my friends. For me, this is a personal loss and every situation. I’m worried personally, damn it.
“I can’t even explain to you in words what is happening to me today. Just know that’s all. I convey my warm regards to the command of the current 247th Regiment.
“I ask you not to interfere with me, because I’m busy f***ing business, I’m trying to get the guys back. If they interfere with me, then the names of these people will end up here.”
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