Operators from Ukraine’s version of the US Navy SEALS, the 73rd Naval Center of Operations, cleared Russian trenches in the southern sector in a one-sided battle leaving several Russian soldiers dead or seriously wounded, according to a video released by the unit on Monday, June 19.

The two-minute video shows at least three Ukrainian special forces operators advancing through a Russian defensive trench. They throw grenades and shoot Russian soldiers at point blank range as they appear. During the firefight one of the Ukrainian soldiers states that friendly infantry reinforcements were coming to assist with the assault.

Three Russian soldiers appear to be unarmed when fired on by the Ukrainian soldiers, but do not appear to be surrendering, and the video shows there are grenades within reach, stored in shelves as the Ukrainians advance. One Ukrainian fighter calls on Russian defenders to give themselves up and save their lives. Following the appeal an armed Russian soldier advances around a corner of the trench towards the Ukrainians and is shot down at three meters’ range.

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GRAPHIC WARNING: The video can be viewed here but some readers may find it disturbing.

The Ukrainians appear to be equipped with high end NATO-standard kit and at least one fires a weapon similar to the US-made M4 assault rifle. In contrast, the Russian soldiers appear poorly-equipped in a hodge-podge of gear including old-model Russian army helmets, civilian t-shirts and running shoes. Repeatedly, the Russians’ armored vests are defeated by the Ukrainians’ bullets. Some Ukrainian media claimed that ten Russian soldiers died in the fight.

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The video did not identify the Russian unit attacked or where the gun battle took place. In the past Kremlin military planners have often placed poorly-trained infantry reservists from Russia’s poorer central or eastern districts, or units of former convicts, in high-risk defensive positions.

The 73rd is widely considered to be one of the Armed Forces of Ukraine’s (AFU) premier commando units, primarily specializing in raiding and small boat operations. In recent weeks the unit has been geolocated to the Kherson sector, at times operating on the left [Russian-held] bank of the Dnipro River.

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Prior to the beginning of the present offensive, Kyiv Post identified the 73rd as a unit likely to play a key role in future operations.

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