As the invasion of Ukraine carries over into its fifth week, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces are reportedly growing mutinous in the face of reported tremendous losses and seeking their own brand of battlefield justice to avenge the deaths of their fallen comrades.
The blame, however, is not being foisted upon the Ukrainian people or their military forces for defending their nation. Instead, a Russian soldier has allegedly sought his vengeance upon his commanding officer, Colonel Yuri Medvedev.
According to a report from Ukrainian journalist Roman Tsymbaliuk, a member of the 37th Motor Rifle Brigade grew incensed after suffering losses of “more than 1500 soldiers” or about 50 percent of their personnel. This led the member of the 37th to allegedly run over Medvedev with his tank.
The date of the incident could not be confirmed and Tsymbaliuk stated that Medvedev had been transported from Ukraine to a hospital in Belarus to recover from injuries to both legs. Those injuries incurred during the “special military operation to protect Donbas,” as official Russian reports detail, are said to have earned Medvedev an award for the “Order of Courage.”
Ukrainian journalist Roman Tsymbaliuk: A Russian soldier ran over his commanding officer, Colonel Yuri Medvedev, with his tank “to protest the huge number of losses they have suffered”. Putin’s in deep sh*t if his soldiers are turning on their commanders. pic.twitter.com/noGHVx0rPz
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) March 23, 2022
Footage released by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov shows a man said to be Medvedev being carried into the facility in Belarus to recover from his injuries. Since the initial incident, the Daily Mail reported that Medvedev had succumbed to the damage and, with the passing of a lieutenant general in command of the 49th Combined Arms Army, marks the seventh reported death of a Russian commanding officer.
A Western official corroborated the incident and stated, “He was killed by his own troops we believe as a consequence of the scale of losses that had been taken by his brigade. That gives an insight into some of the morale challenges the Russian forces are having.”
“We believe,” the official added, “he was killed by his own troops deliberately.”
By NATO’s estimates, somewhere between 7,000 and 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed since the invasion began on Feb. 24 and, when combined with casualties, the totals reach between 30-40,000. In comparison, about 15,000 Russian soldiers died over the course of 10 years in Afghanistan.
The Russians claim casualties that amount to a mere fraction of those totals. However, the morale, as suggested by an intercepted phone recording released by Ukraine’s Security Service, is incredibly low.
The Daily Beast reported on the recording where an unnamed soldier is translated saying, “Basically, it’s a sh*tshow here, I’ll put it that way.”
Stationed in southern Ukraine, the soldier reported that 50 percent of the unit had suffered frostbite in their feet that will not be treated. He went on to state that his Lieutenant General Yakov Rezantsev has been lying that the operation would be over quickly.
“Do you know what he told us?” the translation stated. “‘It’s no secret to anyone that there are only a few hours until this special operation is over.’ And now those hours are still doing.”
The recording also claimed that the Russians had dropped a bomb on their own troops. Similar reports have come forth about Russian displeasure with command and the inability of bombers to know what it is they are actually targeting.
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