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Battalion of Russian draftees reportedly wiped out near Ukraine’s Makiivka, survivor says hundreds killed

A battalion of Russian draftees from the Voronezh region has been wiped out on the line of contact near Ukraine’s Makiivka, Verstka news outlet reports, citing one of the survivors, Alexey Agafonov.

The man says that his battalion arrived on the front line in the early hours of 2 November.

“They sent us there and told us to dig trenches. We had only three shovels for the entire battalion, we had no equipment at all. We dug what we could, and by the morning, they’d started firing at us: from artillery, Grads [rocket launchers], mortars, drones, they shot to kill. When it started, the officers immediately ran away. Between the attacks, we tried to dig trenches, but we were detected by drones right away and shot at. Out of 570 people, 29 survived, 12 are injured, the rest are gone,” Agafonov said.

The wife of another draftee confirmed that according to her husband, hundreds of soldiers were killed in the shelling. “Over half of them are dead, for sure,” she said.

According to Agafonov, draftees from all around Russia are brought to the area to cover up defence breaches, while contract servicemen and volunteers are staying behind.

Agafonov and the surviving soldiers retreated to Svatove, where they found draftees from other crushed battalions.

“It’s a complete mess. The survivors and the newcomers are grouped into new battalions and sent to the front line to cover up the line of defence,” he said.

The spouse of another draftee from the same battalion, Lyudmila Chernykh, has also confirmed Agafonov’s words.

“He [Lyudmila’s husband] called me in the morning from someone else’s phone and told me what happened, that they sent them to dig the defence line, they came under mortar fire, and then they somehow managed to reach Svatove from Krasnodon [also known as Sorokine, a city in the Luhansk region], where they are hiding now. They are scared of going anywhere, they are afraid of even coming to the checkpoints. Their leadership has abandoned them, they don’t know what to do, they’re just asking for help,” the woman said.

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In late October, it was reported that a platoon of Russian draftees of the 2nd Guards Tamanskaya Motor Rifle Division had ended up abandoned on the front line in the Luhansk region with no help from their commanders and with almost no ammunition. Mediazona talked to the surviving soldiers of the division. They said that companies of draftees were being sent to the front line in the area of Svatove without their command and without the necessary equipment.

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