Marines of Russia’s Pacific Fleet who complained to Oleg Kozhemyako, the Vladivostok governor, about high losses in Ukraine’s Pavlivka in early November have been denied withdrawal from the frontline, a contracted soldier from the 155th brigade has told Mediazona, asking to remain anonymous (the media outlet has verified his military ID).
“The command has decided to withdraw the brigade from Pavlivka. We were all happy, but not for long. Not everyone would qualify for withdrawal. Those who were most indignant, who signed the complaint and refused to take part in assaults, will remain in their positions, and those who did not conflict with the command will be taken to the rear for rotation,” the serviceman said.
The combatants “still feel the consequences” of their letter addressing the governor.
“They never draw conclusions, they only punish people all the time. I believe they want to get rid of the disgruntled lads. This is pretty easy to do during warfare. I’m certain my life is worth nothing here,” the man said.
After the marines sent the letter of complaint to the governor, they were ordered to assault. Mediazona’s source says around 100-150 combatants are being kept at the positions, while about as many or more are being withdrawn.
“There are a lot of draftees in the brigade because there were big losses at Pavlivka. The weapons that we have are mostly firearms. There are almost no heavy weapons. Most tanks and other armoured vehicles have been destroyed, and what is left only either shoots or moves. Food supplies are very scarce. We are forced to loot what is left in cellars. Sometimes they provide us with dry rations, but this does not happen very often.
There were about 450 casualties at Pavlivka. For the entire period of hostilities, there have been up to 900 casualties, more than half of those killed,” he said.
On 14 November, a marine from the same brigade told the 7x7 media outlet that around 100-115 servicemen were killed in a recent assault, while the total death toll in the brigade stood at 450-500. Russia’s Defence Ministry reported capturing Pavlivka on the same day.
Kozhemyako claimed that he had contacted the command after receiving the letter and found out that there had been losses, but far less serious than the letter said. The Defence Ministry also denied heavy losses in the brigade.