- Ukrainian forces reportedly killed 49 elite Russian paratroopers in a single day of fighting.
- A Russian blogger posted an audio recording of a soldier saying he would retrieve the bodies himself.
Ukrainian forces killed 49 elite Russian paratroopers in a single day of fighting in its counteroffensive, an expert think-tank said.
The development was reported by the respected Institute for the Study of War in update on Tuesday.
It cited a Russian military blogger who posted a recording purporting to be from a soldier in the unit which suffered the loses, the Russian 247th VDV Regiment.
Per the ISW, the encounter was around Staromayorske, a village in Donetsk.
It said that in the recording the soldier said he was going to retrieve the bodies himself as the Russian command would not do it.
Throughout the conflict, Ukraine has accused Russia of leaving the bodies of its soldiers behind after hasty retreats, possibly to disguise the true death toll.
The 247th regiment is part of Russia’s 7th Guards Mountain Airborne (VDV) Division, which have long been considered to be among Russia’s elite.
The soldier’s recording suggests that Ukraine is succeeding in keeping elements of the 7th VDV Division pinned down, preventing them from fighting in frontline areas, the ISW said.
Russia’s military relies on its VDV Airborne Forces heavily for offensive actions, and its troops have been sent to fight in several locations to oppose Ukraine’s counteroffensive, the ISW said.
Ukraine’s counteroffensive has been making some progress in the south of the country, with Kyiv claiming to have liberated the village of Robotyne last week.
The ISW previously reported that elements of Russia’s VDV Forces had been redeployed to the Robotyne area to stop Ukraine’s advance.
Despite initially coming up against complex Russian defenses, Ukrainian forces have succeeded in breaking through the first and in some cases the second line of Russian defenses, according to Western officials.