Ukrainian soldiers detail desperate maneuvers by Russian forces firing on their own troops: ‘They buried quite a lot of their own guys’

Ukrainian soldiers hide during the shelling at the air defense positions held in Kostiantynivka, Ukraine, on August 8, 2023.

Wojciech Grzedzinski/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

NYT reported Russian forces are performing desperate maneuvers against Ukraine’s counteroffensive.
In a June battle, Russians fired rockets indiscriminately, killing their own troops.
“They buried quite a lot of their own guys,” a Ukrainian soldier told the Times.

Soldiers on Ukraine’s front lines say Russian forces have resorted to desperate maneuvers — sometimes firing upon their own men — to combat the summer counteroffensive strategies supported by Ukraine’s Western allies.

As the invasion continues into its 18th month, incidents of friendly fire among Russian troops aren’t new. Still, according to a report from The New York Times, Russian forces are apparently showing progressively less concern for their own troops as they face off against Ukrainian soldiers.

Just after Ukraine’s counteroffensive was launched, that disregard was highlighted after three days of close-quarters fighting in a June battle for the village of Neskuchne, located in the Donetsk oblast province on the left bank of the Mokri Yaly river. 

“The Russians attempted counterattacks, tried to squeeze us out, to encircle us but everything happened as we envisioned,” a deputy battalion commander of 129th Territorial Defense Brigade, who goes by the call sign Kherson, told the outlet. “We also had strong support from artillery and the higher command.”

After it became clear that Russia would have to cede the territory they had taken, the commander said Russian forces resorted to indiscriminately firing rockets at the battlefield, killing many of their own soldiers.

“They buried quite a lot of their own guys,” Kherson told The Times.

Representatives for Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense and the Government of the Russian Federation did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.

A Russian paratrooper, who last year wrote a detailed day-by-day memoir of the war in Ukraine, described the chaos when entire battalions were killed by friendly fire. Shortly before the Wagner uprising in June, where mercenary forces led by Yevgeny Prigozhin briefly marched across Russia, coming within hours of Moscow, members of the for-hire troops and Russia’s official military opened fire on one another.

Multiple other reports have documented Russian troops being plagued by friendly fire as they advanced in Ukraine, though the Kremlin rarely acknowledges these incidents. 

The Russian news agency Tass reported on one friendly fire incident involving Ukrainian troops in December, though there have been few additional reports of Ukrainian soldiers firing at each other.

Insider previously reported that, despite ongoing support from the US and other Western allies, Ukrainian troops are still taking heavy damage from old-fashioned wartime tactics, including mines and booby traps, as well as high-tech drone attacks and advanced weapons systems

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