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Russia-Ukraine War Live: As Many As 100 Russian Troops May Have Been Killed Near Ukraine’s Eastern Frontline

As many as 100 Russian troops gathered for motivational speech may have been killed

Peter Beaumont

As many as 100 Russian troops gathered for a motivational speech near Ukraine’s eastern frontline may have been killed in a strike earlier this week, prompting fury among Russian military bloggers.

While the details remain unclear and unconfirmed, a number of Russian Telegram channels have been discussing the attack, which they say took place near Kreminna, an eastern town in the Luhansk region where there has been heavy fighting.

The alleged incident took place as soldiers were gathered and made to wait for two hours for a speech from a divisional commander, identified by some as Sukhrab Akhmedov, of the 20th Guards Combined Arms Army, an already controversial figure who had been blamed for the deaths of large numbers of his troops in a botched offensive last year.

According to the Russian military blogger Rybar, the soldiers who were due to be deployed on an offensive had been told to muster for a speech.

The tragic incident occurred near Kreminna, in one of the divisions that was about to go on the offensive.

For two hours, people stood in a crowd in one place and waited for the division commander to deliver a motivational speech. But instead, Himars and enemy artillery spoke.

Rybar added there “were fewer casualties in several days of fighting in the south Donetsk direction than from the criminal stupidity of the division commander”.

Other military bloggers quickly weighed in. “If by the middle of the second year of the war there are commanders who take the columns to the front, make the personnel form a big heap and then wait for the enemy’s artillery to hit them, then such commanders should be shot in front of the columns, even if they are colonels or generals,” said one.

“We are at war with our own stupidity and negligence,” said another.

The strike was given additional credence by the US thinktank the Institute for the Study of War, which included it in its daily updated on the conflict:

ISW has observed both of the 20th CAA’s divisions, the 144th and 3rd Motorized Rifle Ddivisions, operating in the Kreminna area for the past several months and could not confirm which division was struck by the Ukrainian forces.

One milblogger[military blogger] suggested that the reported Ukrainian HIMARSimars strike killed around 100 Russian personnel and wounded another 100, although ISW has not observed any visual confirmation of the strike or its aftermath.[9]

The outrage is reminiscent of previous instances of notable irresponsible Russian military actions resulting in dramatic losses, particularly the 31 December 2022, Ukrainian strike on a large Russian force concentration in Makiivka, Donetsk oblast.

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