Caricature by unknown author "On the offensive" (circa 1917) is becoming more and more relevant before our eyes...
Welcome to join the fundraising of our team for to work on this international column and offline volunteer activities. A couple of cups of coffee in your country, even before the war, could be equivalent to a day's earnings of a worker in Ukraine. Many thanks everyone in advance!
The Verdun-style meat grinder in Bakhmut gradually got replaced by attempts of the Ukrainian army to break through to the Azov coast. According to Anna Malyar, Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine, during the 2 weeks of the southern counteroffensive, the Ukrainian troops recaptured only 8 villages. What such positional battles lead to is also well known since the First World War.
Der Spiegel writes in an article dated June 16 that during the counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine there are tankers who refuse to go into battle, simulating tank damage. The journalists talked to the crew of the Leopard-2 fighting on the southern front. None of them blame the refusers:
“Misha knows that luck can turn away from him too: "If they hit the tower, you will be a pile of ashes," he says. Gudzik says that it’s better to refuse altogether than to retreat in the middle of a fight.”
“Fighting has a high price for Ukrainians. Despite the information ban imposed by Kiev, this is quickly found out. Gasping, bloodied soldiers are being taken to a hospital a few kilometers behind the front line. Doctors report a significant increase in the number of wounded over the past few days. A Ukrainian intelligence agent who examined the entire southern front, speaks of large losses in manpower and equipment.”
In the meantime, our colleagues from ASTRA yesterday published a testimony from the other side of the front line. They have already found more than a dozen basements in the occupied Ukrainian territories for Russians who refused to fight. This is a screenshot of their video from a basement in Rassypnoye, in the very north of the occupied Ukrainian territories - on the border of the so-called "Lugansk People's Republic" with the Kharkov and Belgorod regions (According to today's information, in this direction, Russian troops began to attempt of advancement to the east). It is located 15 km from a similar facility in Zaytsevo, which was reported at the end of 2022. Last year, the Zaytsevo camp was dispersed after publicity, but then it resumed activity. ASTRA sources claim that the inmates are often transported from one village to another and back without telling them the settlements:
“In the footage taken from inside the premises, which were exclusively at the disposal of ASTRA, it is clear that the servicemen are sitting and sleeping on boards or directly on concrete. Plastic bottles are used instead of a toilet. Lanterns are used for lighting.
The cellars operate illegally, because according to the law, military personnel are sent to the guardhouse only after drawing up a protocol on detention, or a protocol on the application of measures to ensure proceedings based on materials about a disciplinary offense. In this case, they are not. Withal, guardhouses should not be located in basements.
Thus, ASTRA found at least 15 such camps, some are no longer active.”
One of the Russian fighters sat in the basement of Rassypnoye for several months. In the official response of the military prosecutor's office of the garrison, he was almost in a rehabilitation center for recuperation. “There are complete unsanitary conditions in the basement, there are many sick people, no one treats them. Full of people with HIV and hepatitis. By all means they are trying to return to the front line. Cell phones are confiscated, they are not returned upon exit. There is sometimes a connection through those who managed to hide the phone,” a relative of another released person tells the same Telegram channel.
Many people remember how the officious propaganda of both warring states throughout the previous 30 years so cursed the Stalin commissars who dragged the people to slaughter by force in 1941-1945. Now it turns out that this was not such a bad practice. It would be very funny if it were not for the blood streams...
But let's imagine that such things as described here do not happen at different ends of the front line, but in the same place. Perhaps the fraternization of soldiers is no longer such a distant prospect as it seems?
Along with this, we recently wrote about the ways how Ukrainian workers liable for military service break out through the closed borders despite the ban on leaving the country.
In addition, look at our previous stories about bold acts of sabotage within the Russian army and military industrial complex.