A Russian soldier has raised concerns about the situation he’s facing in Andriivka, Donetsk region, citing a lack of proper equipment and air support.
In an interview with Radio Liberty, Denis Ivanov (name changed for privacy), expressed his distress over significant casualties among his comrades, describing the situation in his 94th Regiment as dire.
According to the publication, on September 17 Ivanov was scheduled to take his first vacation since the commencement of the so-called partial mobilization. However, three days before departing, he called his wife to convey his fears of dying in the coming days.
The mobilized man’s family shared that he called in a state of panic, explaining that, out of a regiment originally consisting of a thousand soldiers, only four hundred remained.
“He called on Thursday (September 14 – ed.) and said that the Ukrainian Armed Forces were taking Andriivka and breaking through to Bakhmut. And they are thrown into this Andriivka practically without weapons.
“He said that basically ‘we are going at them with shovels and without artillery support’.”
Outlining the hopeless situation he said he was facing, she further quoted her husband as saying: “There’s no retreat because there are people behind us who won’t spare us either.”
Russia’s use of so-called “barrier units” has been documented throughout the war in Ukraine. In June a video appeared to show Russian troops running away from battle and being gunned down by their own side.
The remnants of a drone, with an 82mm mortar taped to it, that was discovered close to the Bulgarian town of Tyulenovo was destroyed in a controlled detonation on Monday.
Ivanov reported that only four hundred soldiers out of a thousand in the regiment remained, with six hundred not returning from missions, while official reports claimed “only 2-3 casualties.”
Ivanov himself later spoke with reporters, saying: “”We send twenty-five people on a mission, and only six return. Our artillerymen are currently launching assaults.
“They were told ‘you still have no ammunition; go in as infantry.’ But the guys don’t even know what an assault is.
“Essentially, they send us there as cannon fodder. We need the coordinates for our artillery and information about the targets we should engage, but our artillery can’t function because they lack shells.”
“When you report this situation to the command, their response is ‘So what?’ That’s a direct quote: ‘So what?'” he said.
Ivanov criticized the practice of sending his colleagues into Andriivka with no expectation of their return, claiming that Russian soldiers are ordered to seize what’s left of the village despite heavy Ukrainian artillery fire.
“The Ukrainian Armed Forces’ artillery is constantly active. They let you enter the village, but they won’t let you leave. Everyone is well aware of this,” he explained.
The Radio Liberty account of the situation on the ground for Russian forces is supported by other recent accounts from Russian sources.
A fiercely pro-Kremlin journalist this week published an interview with another Russian soldier, detailing the fighting for the village of Klishchiivka, just a few kilometers from Andriivka.
He describes Ukraine’s devastating use of artillery and cluster munitions and its “amazing” ability to create solid defensive positions in the areas captured.
“Their artillery works for them very accurately and competently. Clusters. They don’t spare shells at all.
“Previously, they stopped working when we were within 150 meters of their positions. Now they hit us even when we are within 50 meters.”
He claims that any successful attempts to take Ukrainian positions are met with devastating artillery fire which “immediately razes them to the ground.”
Ending the post, he comes to a grim conclusion: “The advantage in artillery, observation and adjustment from the air is decisive for them.”
And last week, a Russian politician wrote an extraordinarily frank account of the situation, detailing multiple shifts in Ukrainian counteroffensive tactics that Moscow’s forces are struggling to fight back against.
In the first part of the post, Andrey Gurulyov, a State Duma member and former deputy military commander, claims the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) have begun to overcome obstacles like vast Russian minefields that bogged down the first few months of Kyiv’s counteroffensive.
“The enemy has learned to work through our very well-made minefields,” he said.
“They competently clear them of mines, using artillery fire and using mine rollers.” Echoing Kots’ post, Gurulyov also says Ukraine has stopped attacking in large groups and is now using what he describes as “squeeze-out tactics.
“They are massively using cluster shells, inflicting fire on the strong points of our units, assault groups.
“They have a lot of the ammunition, and they are trying to burn out absolutely everything.”