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Fighting Wagner is like a ‘zombie movie’ says Ukrainian soldier

by News Desk
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near Bakhmut, Ukraine

Southwest of the city of Bakhmut, Ukrainian soldiers Andriy and Borishich live in a candle-lit trench carved out of the frozen ground. For weeks they have faced hundreds of fighters belonging to the Russian army. Private Military Contractor Wagner throw yourself into Defense of Ukraine.

Disguised as a balaclava, Andriy recounts a seemingly endless shootout when he is overwhelmed by a flood of Wagnerian fighters.

“We were fighting for about ten hours straight, and it wasn’t just a wave, it was unbroken. So it seemed like they never stopped coming.

Their AK-47 rifles got so hot from the constant firing that they had to keep replacing them, Andriy said.

“There were about 20 soldiers on this side, and let’s say 200 from their side,” he says.

Wagner’s method of warfare is to send the first wave of attackers, mostly raw recruits, straight out of Russian prisons. They know little military tactics and are poorly equipped.Most people hope that if they survive their six-month contract, they can go home instead of going back to their cells

“They get a group of, say, 10 soldiers to reach 30 meters and start digging to hold the position,” says Andry of Wagner.

Wagner Exile details brutal executions he witnessed

Another group is following suit to claim another 30 meters, he said. “That’s how[Wagner]is trying to move forward step by step, but he’s lost a lot of people along the way.”

Only when the first wave was depleted or curtailed did Wagner send in more experienced fighters, often from the flanks, to overwhelm the Ukrainian positions.

Andry says facing the attack was a terrifying and surreal experience.

“Our machine gunner was firing at them, and it drove him mad. And he said, ‘I know I shot him, but he He doesn’t fall, and after a while, perhaps when he bleeds, he just falls.”

Andriy likens the battle to a scene from a zombie movie. “They are climbing and stepping on their friends’ dead bodies,” he says.

“It seems very likely that they got some drugs before the attack,” he said, though CNN was unable to independently verify.

Andriy and others of the unit take refuge in a bunker southwest of Bakhmut, eastern Ukraine, January 31, 2023.

After the first wave was eliminated, the attack continued as the Ukrainian defenders ran out of bullets and found themselves surrounded.

“The problem is they circled us. And that’s how they surrounded us. They came from the other side. We didn’t expect them to come from there.” bottom.

“We were shooting to the last bullet, so I threw down every grenade I had, leaving only me and a few men. We were helpless in that situation.”

they were lucky. Ukrainian fighters held out until the last moment, and Wagner withdrew at the end of the day.

Andry’s description of Wagner’s approach is Ukrainian intelligence report obtained by CNN last week.

According to the report, should Wagner’s forces succeed in taking the position, artillery support would allow them to dig foxholes and consolidate their gains. Coordination between Wagner and the Russian military is often lacking, according to Ukrainian intercepts.

CNN reached out to Wagner Group boss Yevgeny Prigozhin this week about allegations of abuse of the company’s employees.

Prigogine called CNN an “open enemy” before claiming that Wagner was “an exemplary military organization that observes all the laws and regulations necessary for modern warfare.”

As he tells CNN, the field above Andry’s bunker echoes near constant artillery fire. The roar of artillery fire is followed, seconds later, by a distant sound several kilometers away.

Small arms fire erupts as Ukrainian soldiers detect what they believe to be a Russian drone and attempt to bring it down.

The unit has just survived the recent onslaught by Wagner's forces, Andry says.

Andry’s forces say they captured one Wagnerian fighter whose story is as tragic as Wagner’s tactics are primitive and brutal.

Records of the man interrogated show that he was an engineer but sold drugs to make money. He volunteered to join Wagner, believing that his criminal record could be expunged so that his daughter would have less trouble pursuing her dream of becoming a lawyer.

“And when did you realize you were just meat?” Andriy asks him.

“On the first combat mission. They brought us to the front lines on December 28th. They sent us off last night.

“How many people were there in that group?”

“10,” he replies.

Andriy says he told his engineers: But you are afraid to fight for freedom in your own country. ”

“He said, ‘Yes, this is true. We are afraid of Putin.'”

Andriy contrasted Russian President Vladimir Putin with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who until recently was the country’s leading comedian.

“Our advantage is, yes, yes. [Russians] call the clown. But as we can see, this man, at the moment, is truly the free world leader on our planet.

Andry, who hails from the southwestern city of Odessa and joined within days of the Russian invasion, says they will hold out even if more fighters are sent to storm their positions.

“Most of my peers are volunteers. They had good business, good jobs, good salaries, but they came to fight for their country. It makes a big difference,” he says.

“This is a war for freedom. It’s not even a war between Ukraine and Russia. This is a war between regime and democracy.”

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