Sunday, April 2, 2023

A Ukrainian Soldier Says Fighting Wagner Is Like a “Zombie Movie”

Near Bakhmut, Ukraine (CNN) — Southwest of the town of Bakhmut, Ukrainian soldiers Andrey and Borisych live in a candlelit bunker beneath the frozen ground. For several weeks they have faced hundreds of fighters belonging to the Russian private military contractor Wagner who are accusing Ukrainian security.

Disguised in a ski mask, Andrey reminisces about a seemingly endless firefight as they come under attack from an onslaught of Wagner fighters.

“We were fighting non-stop for about 10 hours. And it wasn’t waves, it was non-stop. So it was like they just kept coming.”

Andrey explains that his AK-47 rifles became so hot from the continuous firing that they had to be changed frequently.

He says, “There were about 20 soldiers on our side. Suppose you have 200 on your side.

Wagner’s method of warfare is to send in the first wave of raiders, mostly raw recruits straight from Russian prisons. They know little about military strategy and are poorly equipped. Most expect that if they survive their six-month contract they can go home rather than return to Cell.

“They form groups, say 10 soldiers, reach 30 meters, then they start digging in to hold the position,” says Andree of Wagner.

Another group follows, he says, to claim another 30 metres. “In this way, step by step,[Wagner]is trying to move forward while losing a lot of people in the process.”

Only when the first wave ends or subsides, does Wagner send more experienced fighters, often from the flanks, in an attempt to overrun the Ukrainian positions.

Andrey says that facing the attack was a terrifying and unreal experience.

“Our machine gunner was almost going crazy because he was firing at them. And he said, I know I shot him, but he didn’t go down. And then after a while, when he was bleeding is, then it just goes down.” ,

Andrey compares the fight to a scene from a zombie movie. “They’re climbing over the dead bodies of their friends, stepping over them,” he says.

“It seems very likely that they were receiving some drugs prior to the attack,” he says, a claim that CNN has not been able to independently verify.

Bakhmut Wagner

Andrey and others in their unit shelter in a bunker southwest of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine on January 31, 2023. Credit: Matthias Somm / CNN

Even after the first waves had cleared, the assault continued as Ukrainian defenders say they ran out of bullets and found themselves surrounded.

“The problem was that they surrounded us. And that’s how they surrounded us. They came from the other side. We didn’t expect them to come from there.”

“We were fighting till the last bullet, so we threw all the hand grenades we had and it was only me and a few people who were left. We were defenseless in that situation.”

They were lucky. Ukrainian fighters say that after holding out until the last moment, Wagner retreated at the end of the day.

Andrey’s account of Wagner’s approach matches a Ukrainian intelligence report obtained by CNN last week.

According to that report, if Wagner’s forces managed to take the position, the artillery support would allow them to dig trenches and consolidate their gains. According to Ukrainian intercepts, there is often a lack of coordination between Wagner and the Russian military.

CNN contacted Wagner Group head Yevgeny Prigozhin this week about allegations of abuse within the company’s ranks.

Prigozhin responded through his press service in a statement in a largely sarcastic tone, calling CNN an “open enemy”, before adding that Wagner is an “exemplary military organization that abides by all the necessary laws and regulations of modern warfare”. obeys.”

As he talks to CNN, the fields above Andrey’s bunker echo with near-constant gunfire. The scream of the outgoing artillery is followed a few seconds later and a distant rumble a few miles away.

Ukrainian soldiers spotted a Russian drone and tried to shoot it down.

Wagner Ukraine

The unit has survived a recent attack by Wagner’s soldiers, says Andrey. Credit: Matthias Som / CNN

Andrey’s unit says it captured the Wagner fighter, whose story is as tragic as its tactics are primitive and brutal.

According to a recording of the person being questioned, he is an engineer but used to sell drugs to earn some money. He volunteered to join Wagner in the belief that it would clear his criminal record so that his daughter would have less trouble pursuing her dream of becoming a lawyer.

“And when did you realize that you are only flesh?” Andrey asks her.

“On the first combat mission. They took us to the front line on December 28. They sent us last night.”

“How many people were in the group?”

“Ten,” he replies.

Andrey says he told the engineer: “Obviously, you know you will be killed (in the war). But you are afraid to fight for your freedom in your own country.”

“They said: ‘Yes, it’s true. We are afraid of Putin.'”

Andrey compared Russian President Vladimir Putin with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, who until recently was the country’s leading comedian.

“Our advantage is that yes, we do, we can actually choose the person [los rusos] They are called clowns. But as we can see, this man really is the leader of the free world, right now, on our planet.”

Andrey, who is from the southwestern city of Odessa and joined within days of the Russian invasion, says he will resist no matter how many more fighters are sent to attack his positions.

“Most of my boys are volunteers. They had (a) good business, they had (a) good job, they had good pay, but they came to fight for their country. And that makes a lot of difference,” he it is said.

“This is a war for independence. It is not even a war between Ukraine and Russia. It is a war between a regime and a democracy.”

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
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