Russian troops and prominent milibloggers are saying that the Kremlin is giving out “ill-conceived and unsupported” orders to urgently regain territory south of Bakhmut that was recently captured by Ukraine.
In a video published to social media, members of Russia’s 1442nd Regiment, a mobilized group from the Altai Krai region, said that they chose to abandon their military equipment near the village of Klishchiivka—a town roughly four miles southwest of Bakhmut that was reclaimed by Kyiv earlier this week—after being told to attack in the direction of the Dontesk city to reclaim lost territory.
The footage was shared to X, formerly Twitter, by imprisoned Russian ultranationalist Igor Girkin, and cited in the Institute for the Study of War’s (ISW’s) latest assessment on the war in Ukraine. According to ISW’s report, the Russian servicemen in the video complain of men being deployed to the front line without functional ammunition, and that the regiment is suffering from “low morale” after hearing reports of Ukrainian troops destroying other Russian regiments in the area.
Newsweek was unable to independently verify content of the video. The Russian Ministry of Defense has been contacted via email on Wednesday night for comment.
The 1442nd’s video comes as Russian miliblogger Svyatoslav Golikov claimed on his Telegram channel Tuesday that the situation in southern Bakhmut remains “very difficult” due to the “hysterical response actions that our command is taking in this area.”
“In addition to their actual advancement on the ground, the enemy worked out the situation with [Andriivka] well in the media field,” Golikov wrote. “As a result, we have hysterical attempts to recapture the ruins of [Andriivka]. Equally hysterical attempts to counterattack are taking place in the surrounding area.”
Ukraine announced that it successfully reclaimed the village of Andriivka, roughly six miles south of Bakhmut, last week, and said that Russia’s forces in the area were left “in tatters” after the battle.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which will reach the 19-month mark this weekend, has been consistently plagued with reports of low morale among its troops. Some soldiers have complained of being deployed to fight without adequate equipment or training.
Relatives of the 1442nd Regiment previously worried about their loved ones fighting along the front lines for several months without being offered relief, reported Czech media outlet Sibreal.
Ukraine’s counteroffensive has seen a string of success around the city of Bakhmut as Kyiv pushes forward to reclaim Russian-occupied territory in the southeast. Russian defenses in the Zaporizhzhia region have also showed signs of “severe degradation” against Ukraine’s offenses in the area, the ISW previously reported.