Russia issues rare denial of "pointless losses" by marines in Ukraine

2 weeks ago 29

LONDON, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Russia's defence ministry took the uncommon measurement connected Monday of denying allegations that a naval infantry portion had suffered disastrous losses of men and instrumentality successful a futile violative successful eastbound Ukraine.

The ministry was responding to what Russian subject bloggers said was an unfastened missive from members of the 155th marine brigade of Russia's Pacific Fleet, complaining they had been thrown into an "incomprehensible" battle connected Ukrainian forces southwest of Donetsk.

"As a effect of the 'carefully' planned violative by the 'great generals', we mislaid astir 300 radical killed, wounded and missing successful the people of 4 days. (And) fractional of our equipment," said the letter.

The substance was published by Grey Zone, a fashionable subject blog. It was addressed to Oleg Kozhemyako, politician of the acold eastbound Primorye region, thousands of miles from Ukraine, wherever the portion is based.

Kozhemyako appeared to admit the missive was genuine but said it exaggerated the standard of the existent losses.

"We contacted the commanders. Yes determination are losses, there's dense fighting, but they are acold from what is written successful this appeal," helium said successful a video connection connected his Telegram channel.

The defence ministry statement, quoted by state-owned RIA quality agency, rejected the assertion that the marines portion had suffered "high, pointless losses successful radical and equipment".

On the contrary, successful the people of 10 days it had precocious 5 km (over 3 miles) into Ukrainian antiaircraft positions, RIA quoted the ministry arsenic saying. The connection specifically denied that the brigade's commanders had shown incompetence.

"Due to the competent actions of the portion commanders, the losses of marines for the fixed play bash not transcend 1% of combat strength, and 7% wounded, a important portion of whom person already returned to duty," it said.

The antithetic denial suggested the reported losses had touched a earthy nervus astatine a constituent successful the war's ninth period erstwhile Russian forces are nether dense unit successful partially occupied regions of Ukraine that Moscow has proclaimed arsenic its ain territory - actions denounced arsenic amerciable by Kyiv, the West and astir countries of the United Nations.

Russian subject bloggers, immoderate of whom bid audiences of fractional a cardinal oregon much connected societal media, person go progressively captious of the failings of Moscow's generals since Ukraine recaptured ample parts of the northeast of the state successful September.

The reported entreaty from the marine portion criticised idiosyncratic commanders by name, describing them arsenic mediocrities who treated their men similar "meat" and were lone funny successful furthering their ain careers.

The determination governor, Kozhemyako, said helium had sent materials to the subject prosecutor's bureau for further examination.

"In conditions of accusation warfare, immoderate publications connected societal networks request checking. I americium definite that successful immoderate lawsuit the concern volition beryllium analysed and the competent authorities volition springiness their assessment," helium said.

Reporting by Mark Trevelyan; Editing by Angus MacSwan

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Thomson Reuters

Chief writer connected Russia and CIS. Worked arsenic a writer connected 7 continents and reported from 40+ countries, with postings successful London, Wellington, Brussels, Warsaw, Moscow and Berlin. Covered the break-up of the Soviet Union successful the 1990s. Security analogous from 2003 to 2008. Speaks French, Russian and (rusty) German and Polish.

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