A group of Russian soldiers deployed near the Kherson front made a video addressed to Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu pleading for troop rotations while simultaneously complaining about poor leadership from their commander who “killed [their] people.”

In the video published on Telegram, a group of Russian soldiers who claimed to be part of the 26th Regiment of the 2nd Battalion could be seen standing against the backdrop of audible explosions, claiming they had been deployed to Krynky, a settlement on the left (east) bank of the Dnipro River, in July and received “not a single day off” since their deployment.

Estonian blogger Dmitri shared a version with English subtitles in an X (formerly Twitter) update.

In the address, they pleaded for troop rotations and said that only 50 people remained from the original three companies, and that their incompetent commander, who submitted falsified reports to the headquarters exaggerating their success, was sending them to the “islands” that had been captured by Ukrainian troops.

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A representative of the group identified their commander, call-sign “Zmey,” (Snake) as Lt. Colonel Aleksandr Petrovich Zladko.

“He killed our people. He was reporting that everything is great here. But in reality, three companies are dead and wounded,” said the Russian soldier.

“He wants to send 50 of us to be killed to hide his tracks.”

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A Russian company consists of anywhere between 30 and 150 personnel – meaning the group has lost between 40 and 400 personnel over the last few months.

Falfisfying battlefield success is not unheard of in the Russian military, and it has long been plaguing its troops, with reports claiming that Russian command uses a map that drastically deviates from tactical reality due to inaccurate frontline reports.

Recently, Ukraine has officially confirmed the establishment of bridgeheads on the left bank of the Dnipro River near Kherson, which would pave the way for its counteroffensive to recapture Russian-occupied Crimea.

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As of three days ago, Ukrainian troops reportedly pushed two units of Russian infantry, each numbering between 100-300 men, into a pair of enclaves.

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