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ISW: Soldiers claim Russian military command gave instructions to launch ‘ill-conceived, unsupported’ counterattacks

by Kateryna Ilnytska September 21, 2023 7:15 AM 1 min read
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Institute for the Study of War in their Sept. 20 report analyzed a video appeal posted by the members of Russia's mobilized 1st Battalion of the 1442nd Regiment of the Altai Krai. The soldiers claimed that they abandoned their military equipment in the Klishchiivka area located seven kilometers southwest of Bakhmut after receiving orders from Russian military command to form an assault group and attack in the Bakhmut direction.

The combatants said that the Russian military command began deploying various types of servicemen, including soldiers who are now on a break in the rear, to the front lines without giving them access to adequate artillery rounds.

The personnel reported that their shells do not detonate when fired, which is likely a result of Russia's military industrial base trying to produce shells with greater speed while ignoring quality control measures in order to do so. After receiving reports that Ukrainian troops had nearly completely annihilated a fleeing assault group in the region and most of an unnamed Russian regiment, servicemen noted that the unit was experiencing low morale. Additionally, the service members asserted that they lack defensive locations and must rely on small guns, while the Ukrainians have artillery.

Family members of the troops of the 1442nd Regiment had earlier approached Russian President Vladimir Putin following the Russian military command's beating of the soldiers on Sept. 14 for refusing to launch an assault.

Russian military command was also charged with directing soldiers to retake Andriivka (10 kilometers southwest of Bakhmut) and the surrounding territory without creating the right conditions for such counterattacks, according to a Russian military blogger. "The Russian military command was allegedly preparing "weak" counterattacks and failing to give Russian assault forces accurate intelligence." He also said that although "hysterical" counterattacks are exhausting Russian resources and supplies, Russian soldiers are also lacking artillery backup.

The Russian military command's efforts to retake lost areas are probably delaying Russian forces from establishing new defensive positions on Bakhmut's southern flank. The blogger also suggested that Russian fortifications on the nearby heights in the Andriivka area had failed.

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