Hundreds of Russian soldiers were allegedly killed when they were struck by Ukrainian HIMARS artillery while waiting for a motivational speech from the commander of their unit according to new reports from several prominent military bloggers inside of Russia.
Several Russian military bloggers voiced their criticism of the country’s leaders after it became known that hundreds of troops were subjected to a brutal attack from Ukraine’s American-made High-Mobility Rocket Artillery Systems (Himars) while waiting to hear a speech.
Popular Telegram blogger Starshe Eddy wrote that if there were still commanders in the second year of the war gathering columns of men into one big pile near the front, just to have those men wait to be hit by artillery, then those military leaders “must be shot.”
The Russian milbogger added that the execution should take place in front of their troop formation and that the punishment should be doled out regardless of rank, “even if they are colonels or generals” he added according to an English translation from The Times.
‘Our own stupidity and sloppiness‘
“The Armed Forces of Ukraine have no merit in this war,” Starshe Eddy continued. “We are at war with our own stupidity and sloppiness,” the blogger went on, adding Russia’s military prosecutors needed to get involved while saying the facts would be reported in a more positive light.
The incident occurred somewhere near Kreminna in Russian-occupied Luhansk Oblast according to Business Insider, which also noted that the area where the troops were hit was likely inside the range of Ukraine’s 155mm artillery and Storm Shadow missiles.
Business Insider also said that accounts of what happened differed among the various military bloggers who reported the incident, but noted there was a general sense of what had occurred: troops were massed awaiting a talk from their general and were then struck.
“Near Kreminna a tragic incident took place in one of the divisions mustered there for an offensive,” wrote Rybar—one of the most well-known Russian military bloggers who The Times said was known to have close links with the country’s military.
Rybar reported the soldiers “stood in a crowd for two hours in one place and waited for the divisional commander to give his motivational speech,” according to a translation from The Times—which also noted the military blogger said a mix of weapons were used.
“But instead of him, the HIMARS, MLRS, and enemy artillery had their say, “Rybar added, according to a Kyiv Post translation. “In the Yuzhnodonetsk direction, in a few days there were fewer victims in the battles than from the criminal stupidity of the division commander.”
Starshe Eddy also reported that the soldiers who were fired upon stood waiting for their commander for two hours and also said a mix of High Mobility Rocket Artillery Systems and conventional artillery were used to shell the troops as they waited for their leader.
As many as 300 soldiers may have been killed in the attack according to casualty figures from Business Insider, which also wrote if the strike proved to be genuine, then it could be one of the deadliest incidents for Russian forces since the invasion began.
Original reports of the incident did not name the commander in charge of the troops who were struck but later some Russian bloggers began blaming Major General Zurab Akhmedov, commander of the 20th Combined Arms Army according to The Times.
The Times added that no proof was provided for the claims Akhmedov was involved in the incident, though the news organization added that the man has had previous issues with disasters—noting he was accused in 2022 of using his troops as cannon fodder.
There does appear to be some truth to the story since Russian lawmaker, and close ally of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, Adam Delimkhanov may have been wounded in the strike according to Newsweek.
“I ask Ukrainian intelligence to provide information on exactly what place and what positions were struck so that I can still find my dear brother,” Kadyrov wrote in a Telegram message translated by Newsweek, saying he would give a reward for information.
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