Relatives of Russian servicemen are complaining that their loved ones have been “left in hell” without sufficient weapons, food or even uniforms to replace Wagner fighters recently withdrawn from Bakhmut.
In an appeal posted on social media and reported by the local Russian media outlet Ostorozhno Novosti, family members of soldiers from the 1428th regiment claim they have “no decent uniforms or weapons – only assault rifles and shovels.”
“They drop them down near [Bakhmut] completely unprepared to replace the Wagner PMC.”
The family of another soldier asked: “Our fathers would like to know why they are conquering Bakhmut a second time?”
The wife of an asthmatic soldier claims her husband Sergei was issued with a summons to be conscripted in October 2022 when he went to collect a new passport.
He was sent to fight “with his pockets full of asthma inhalers” and after a stint in a relatively safe defensive area, has now been moved to the Bakhmut sector where there is fierce fighting.
“The conditions there are wretched – no equipment, food or water. They fight with their bare hands,” his daughter added.
Sergei was also denied the status of a combat veteran and has not been given any leave since his mobilization, his wife has claimed.
Earlier, the men of the 1428th regiment (military unit 95368) of the Russian army reported that they were sent on a suicide assault near Bakhmut without training and the necessary weapons – to replace of the “previously defeated assault brigade.”
Wagner began transferring their positions in Bakhmut to units of the Russian military in May.
Vladimir Putin personally congratulated the Wagner PMC mercenaries, who played a significant role in the Russian offensive on Bakhmut.
Putin’s good will then evaporated when Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin launched an unsuccessful coup against the Kremlin.
With Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko acting as mediator, the Kremlin struck a deal with Prigozhin to end the mutiny and see him move to neighboring Belarus along with some of his men.
But last week, Lukashenko cast that deal into doubt when he revealed that neither Prigozhin nor his mercenaries were in the country.
“If you’re looking for them, you won’t find them here,” said Leonid Kasinsky, an aide to the Belarusian defense ministry.
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