In a video, combatants accuse unpreparedness, lack of material and complain that the Kremlin leader does not visit the front. In Bakhmut, the invaders are not getting any progress, amid fierce fighting and lack of ammunition.
(DW) Almost since the beginning of Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine there have been complaints from Russian troops about lack of training and equipment. In a new video posted on social media, Russian soldiers call on Russian President Vladimir Putin for help directly from the war zone.
In the recording, posted on Telegram and reported by German news agency DPA, the group’s spokesman complains about the lack of equipment and says that military commanders have sent units unprepared for war. He stands masked and surrounded by a dozen uniformed men, also with their faces covered.
The soldier calls on Putin, as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, to see to it that the military commanders do their jobs. He complains about the lack of equipment and lack of leadership on the part of the commanders. “We know that we are not the only ones who come up with this kind of request,” he says, claiming he is “in the Donetsk region.”
Putin did not visit battlefield
He claims Putin takes care of the situation on the ground, not just on paper. So far, Putin has not visited the troops in the combat zone – unlike Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelenski, who has made occasional visits to the front.
The Russian spokesman complains that there is a lack of equipment, such as night vision devices, to fulfill combat tasks.
Other fighters, as well as wives, mothers, and sisters of soldiers had already complained about the poor conditions of the Russian troops in public demonstrations.
The spokesman accuses commanders of ignoring the presidential decree, employing unprepared units in the assault troops. “The leadership of our regiment does not dialogue with us, intimidates us and threatens us with arrest if we refuse to fight and if we do not go to the front line,” he complains.
The man complains that many combatants die senselessly due to lack of support through intelligence work and lack of communication with other units.
The man points out that the average age of the units is 40 years old and that many have restricted action due to health problems. “We do not refuse to fulfill the tasks of territorial defense. We refuse to take an unjustified risk – with machine guns against tanks, against mortars and snipers,” he said.
After months of intense fighting in eastern Ukraine, both sides are complaining of a lack of ammunition. In the battle for Bakhmut, a largely destroyed city, both the Russians around the Wagner Group mercenaries as well as the Ukrainian defenders are asking for more ammunition.
Demands for ammunition from both sides
Despite all the complaints, the fighting continues with unchanged severity. Eastern Bakhmut is, according to British experts, largely under Russian control. However, Kiev does not want to give up the defense of the city.
Ukrainian commander-in-chief Valeriy Zalushnyi asked for new ammunition and more equipment during a phone call with U.S. Chief of Staff Mark Milley. In addition, he stated that his country’s anti-aircraft defense should be strengthened, according to official reports.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in an interview published this Sunday (12/03) by Bild am Sonntag newspaper that the lack of ammunition is the “number one” problem in the fight against the Russian occupiers. “Germany could really help more with ammunition. With artillery ammunition,” he said.
However, artillery shells and cartridges are also lacking for the Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Group, according to information from their chief, Yevgeny Prigozhin. For the battle for Bakhmut, his troops need every month, 10,000 tons of ammunition, Prigozhin said in a video, in which he demands urgent resupply.
The video allegedly shows him on the roof of a house in Bakhmut. In the surroundings, it is possible to see many destroyed houses and streets.
Russian advance halted in Bakhmut
According to a US think tank, Russia’s advance seems to have stalled in Moscow’s campaign to capture Bakhmut.
In an assessment of the longest ground battle of that war, the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said that there has been no confirmed advance by Russian forces in Bakhmut.
According to the Institute, Russian forces and units of the Kremlin-controlled Wagner paramilitary group continue to launch ground attacks against the city, but there has been no evidence that they have been able to make any progress, the ISW said Saturday.
md (DPA, AP) *** Translated by the DEFCONPress FYI team ***