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Putin reeling as elite regiment decimated amid Ukrainian fightback- sixth top general dead


The regiment’s commander, Colonel Sergey Sukharev, was also confirmed as killed during the fierce battle that raged near Kyiv on March 17, according to local reports. Reports claim that the Russian 331st Guards Airborne Regiment was destroyed after coming under fire from Ukrainian forces. The regiment is part of the 98th Guard Airborne Division and had around 2000 soldiers along with over 200 armoured fighting vehicles.

Only one severely wounded Russian soldier is believed to have survived the battle and is being cared for by Ukrainian medics.

In addition, Ukrainian forces took up to 100 prisoners of war over the last few days of intense fighting.

Mykola Vorobiov, a research fellow at Johns Hopkins university, wrote: “Last night Russian troops were thrown back 60-70km from the capital Kyiv.

“Most of the Russian units suffered enormously high casualties they never had since WWII.

“331 airborne brigade has only one serviceman left.”

OSINTdefender also tweeted: “The Russian 331st Guards Airborne Regiment of the 98th Guard Airborne Division is Claimed to have been almost Completely wiped out by Ukrainian Forces near the Capital of Kyiv.

“The only Survivors of the Battle are reported to be 1 Severely Wounded Airborne Soldier who is Currently under Ukrainian Medical Care as well as up to 100 Russian Airborne POWs that has been Captured over the last few days during the Fighting.”

The 331st Guards Airborne Regiment is considered one of Russia’s elite units.

The regiment fought in both Chechen wars and some of its members were directly involved in the Donbas conflict in 2014 to 2015.

Video footage posted by the twitter account Liveuamap appears to show the aftermath of the battle.

Harrowing images depict destroyed armoured fighting vehicles and trucks scattered over the battle field, along with twisted metal shards.

The 331st is based in the Russian town of Kotroma and was led by Colonel Sergey Sukharev.

READ MORE: Russian troops cut off in devastating blow to Putin’s war plan

His death was confirmed by the Russian regional state TV network GTRK Kostroma.

The Regional Military Commissariat acknowledged the commander’s death along with four other soldiers from the regiment, saying they “gave their lives for the security of [Russia].”

The 331st and Colonel Sukharev took part in the Battle of Ilovaisk in eastern Ukraine in August 2014, when fighting broke out between pro-Moscow separatists and Ukrainian forces.

Russian forces allegedly went back on an agreement to allow Ukrainian soldiers to retreat, killing many in the ensuing shoot out.

Ariana Gic, a political and legal analyst, said: “Whenever anyone talks about agreements with Russia, I think of the 2014 Ilovaisk massacre.

“After agreeing to allow Ukrainian troops to retreat from Russian encirclement on Ukrainian territory, the Russian army fired at the Ukrainians like fish in a barrel as they fled.”

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Andriy Senchenko, a Ukrainian politician, led a parliamentary inquiry into the incident.

The inquiry concluded that at least 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers died during the fighting.

The Ukraine government described the battle as a massacre and a soldier who survived it told the Kyiv Independent it was a “real meat grinder.”

It comes amid reports that yet another senior Russian commander has been killed.

The governor of Sevastopol said on Sunday Post-Captain Andrei Paliy, deputy commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, died during fighting in the eastern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol.

Sevastopol, which is a major base of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, is located on the Crimean peninsula, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014.



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