A Russian army volunteer seeking donations at a church has revealed the huge losses and challenging conditions faced by Moscow’s soldiers near Donetsk.

In a video shared on Twitter by Ukrainian Interior Ministry advisor, Anton Gerashchenko, a man in military uniform stands in an Orthodox church beside a priest, describing an assault regiment in the Donetsk region that is experiencing significant casualties.

“I am a volunteer from St. Petersburg. My name is Verkiev Igor Gennadievich. Currently, in Donetsk, there is one regiment consistently advancing, and it is facing heavy losses,” he says.

“I was absent there for 10 days. During this time over 1,000 men have been killed,” he adds.

A Russian regiment consists of three to six battalions and typically does not exceed 2,000 men.


In an apparent attempt to placate the authorities, he adds: “We are not competing with the Ministry of Defense; we simply supply whatever it doesn't have time to deliver.”

Speaking further, he says that in the existing, dire conditions, especially during the harsh winter period, plain gloves are valued by the soldiers more than the medals.

“Yesterday, I was speaking to the regiment. They said: ‘Igor, these gloves you are bringing, they are being handed out instead of medals,’” the man reveals.

It's not the first time Russian soldiers and volunteers have accidentally revealed the real losses they are suffering on Ukraine's frontline – and the numbers are "slightly" different from those provided by Russian authorities.

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In an intercepted phone call, published by Ukraine's Military Intelligence (HUR) in July, a Russian soldier told his wife that Moscow’s forces are suffering enormous losses on the frontline, telling her not to believe what she sees being reported on the TV news. 

“The losses have been huge lately, and very few of us are left, yet they continue to send us to dangerous positions.


“And they can't do anything about it, we can't do anything, the command are idiots.

“F**k, they literally f**k us up here... soon they'll kill us all here.”

The soldier also complains about being very badly equipped and running out of ammunition: “This is not the second army in the world anymore. After Ukropia (Ukraine) it is already the third.”

In another intercepted conversation from last week, a Russian soldier described how Moscow’s forces are suffering such huge casualties in Avdiivka that hospitals are overflowing and the wounded arrive by the truck full.

“There are a lot of people, and the wounded are being brought here by trucks literally every day,” he says.

“A lot of dead as well. I'm in a civilian hospital because the military hospital is overcrowded—three floors packed.”

While the authenticity of the call has not been confirmed, both Ukrainian, Russian and independent sources confirm Russia is suffering huge losses right now, with the daily rate of soldiers killed approaching an all-time high.

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