A high-profile Russian war blogger died after posting that Russia lost 16,000 soldiers taking the Ukrainian town of Avdiivka: reports – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

A high-profile Russian war blogger died after posting that Russia lost 16,000 soldiers taking the Ukrainian town of Avdiivka: reports

A Ukrainian soldier fires during battle in Avdiivka, Donetsk region, Ukraine, August 18, 2023.

Libkos/ AP Photo

A Russian military blogger is reported to have died after posting about massive Russian losses in Avdiivka. Prior to his reported death, he had complained about being pressured by Russian propagandists.Russian outlets have said he died by suicide.

A Russian military blogger who had posted about massive Russian losses in Ukraine died a few days later, according to multiple reports.

Several Russian Telegram accounts have said that the death of Andrei Morozov — a veteran and war blogger with more than 135,000 subscribers — was by suicide, BBC Russian reported.

Business Insider was unable to independently confirm Morozov’s death, or the cause, but his lawyer, Maxim Pashkov, appeared to confirm it in several Telegram posts.

Pashkov also confirmed the death, without mentioning a cause, when contacted by The New York Times.

Morozov had recently complained of harassment by Russian propagandists angered by a post of his in which he said that Russia had lost 16,000 soldiers and 300 armored vehicles in its effort to take the Ukranian town of Avdiivka, independent Russian outlet Meduza reported.

The capture of Avdiivka, in eastern Ukraine, last Friday represents Russia’s sole notable advancement in the last months, and has been a grinding and costly fight on both sides.

In the wake of its withdrawal, Ukraine claimed that Russia suffered 30,000 casualties there, with the UK’s Ministry of Defence saying it was “thousands,” along with 400 tanks.

Russia’s Ministry of Defense does not release figures of its casualties.

On Tuesday, Morozov wrote on Telegram that he had been ordered to delete a post, per the BBC.

He said this was following pressure from “political prostitutes led by Vladimir Solovyov,” per Meduza’s translation. Solovyov is a powerful Russian propagandist.

The post about the Avdiivka losses has since disappeared, the Times reported.

In a series of lengthy posts on Wednesday, Morozov said he had been pressured to delete a post, and discussed shooting himself.

Per the BBC, Morozov previously served in the paramilitary forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, a separatist region of Ukraine.

Russia’s media environment is strictly controlled, but a coterie of unofficial outlets have flourished on Telegram, where anonymity and a lack of censorship have allowed unvarnished assessments and reporting to flourish from a growing scene of pro-war “milbloggers.”

Some of these, known to belong to former military officers, appear well-sourced and have accurately reported on Russian losses in the past, even as official sources and state media outlets have not commented.

The milblogger scene has also often taken vocal positions on the power struggles between figures like Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov, and deceased mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Morozov’s reported death, and the lead-up to it, may suggest that this relative level of impunity is now fading.

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