Update: The appeal of the Siberian army sent to Ukraine had an effect. They will soon be transferred to a new unit, Irkutsk Region Governor Igor Kobzev said on his Telegram channel, Russian publication RBC reported.
Original article: For the second time in a month, men who say they are part of a Russian unit stationed in Donetsk, Ukraine, have complained in a video clip about the treatment of their commanders, CNN reported.
The men are part of the 1439th regiment, which hails from Irkutsk (Siberia). A group from the same brigade issued a similar protest in January. It is not clear if the new video is related to the previous complaint.
In the latest video released on Saturday, the group says they received “illegal and criminal orders” from their command and were sent into battle without “any support”.
“We are mobilized from the 1439th regiment from the Irkutsk region, sent from the city of Novosibirsk to the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic on December 31, 2022,” said a hooded soldier who was reading a message and was surrounded by other soldiers.
“We ask for help to deal with the illegal and criminal orders of our command … The soldiers were converted into assault units on the same day and sent to attack the Avtivka fortress – without the support of artillery, communications, gendarmes, recognition. – to be massacred.”
Avdiivka is a heavily contested city near the Donetsk front line.
“The RPD commanders are firing machine guns and infantry fighting vehicles at our mobilized soldiers as (they) refuse to join the assault units. There is no point in appealing to the local military prosecutor’s office because they have fully cooperated with the commanders… At this point, this battalion is almost completely wiped out,” he said. The masked soldier continued.
As the video ends, the soldier says the unit is in a “frustrated state” because “RPD commanders don’t care about their lives.”
Another video from men allegedly in Unit 1439 was also circulated in late January.
In it, one group says they are threatened and targeted by their commanders for refusing to join the front lines and being pushed into battle without adequate support.
“Our command directly tells us that we are dispensable. RPD commanders are firing machine guns and BMPs at our mobilized soldiers as (they) refuse to join the assault units,” said a man in military uniform. This video was posted on January 26.
The man said many in his unit were sent to the front lines as assault teams without any training, resulting in two deaths and 19 injuries. He said the soldiers were paying out of their “own pockets” for food and water, living in “absolute chaos” and tending to their wounds.
CNN could not independently verify the video footage or verify that the group were actually soldiers from the 1439th Regiment. TVRain — an independent television station in Russia — said Saturday it had obtained the video directly from the players.
“Evil gamer. Amateur music trailblazer. Alcohol geek. Problem solver. Coffee advocate. Troublemaker. Infuriatingly humble zombieaholic.”