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Once it was one of the most terrible, but the elite Russian battalion is almost extinct. How the Ukrainians destroyed the Arctic brigade – Observer

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It was best weapon, best equipment, best soldiers. And his task was to protect the Russian military arsenal in the Arctic, in Pechenga, where Vladimir Putin placed nuclear weapons and submarines capable of transporting them. The importance of the 200th (two hundredth) separate motorized rifle brigade was obvious. And so it became obvious to send her to Ukraine. They were on their way before February 24, the date of the invasion, to participate in winter exercises, the Kremlin claimed.

Now an American newspaper investigation Washington Post, who had access to confidential documents of the brigade, realizes that it was practically put out by the Ukrainian army. “It cannot be considered a fighting force,” the European military defended, justifying his claims with an overwhelming number of casualties on the battlefield.

According to the investigation, which leads the captured soldiers, it was in January that two tactical battalions of the brigade went to Ukraine by train. It was not until 3:00 am on February 24 that an officer informed them that the mission would eventually include “shooting.” The destination was Kharkiv, a Ukrainian city that had been the scene of fierce fighting since the first day of the war. The resistance of the Ukrainians turned out to be stronger than the Russians expected, and immediately several units were attacked and ambushed.

In just one day, dozens of soldiers were killed. and much of the equipment is destroyed or abandoned. The history of the 200th brigade is not unique, and since the beginning of the war there have been more reports of the complete disappearance of battalions, like 31st Air Assault Brigade, or, more recently, recruit battalion.

Russian special brigade that was in Chechnya and now is fighting for survival in Ukraine

Last May, according to documents the Washington Post had access to, the unit was already in trouble. On the 13th of the same month, the Ukrainian military managed to stop the Russians who were trying to surround the city, forcing them to cross the border, returning to Russian territory, towards Belgorod. There, the troop count showed that almost half of the troops were either dead or missing.

In addition, morale was low, Pekka Toveri, a Finnish official, told the newspaper. “They are there are soldiers who refuse to fight, missing soldiers. It shows us that the war is going incredibly badly for Russia.”

Since May, when the forces were already 60% complete, losses continued to accumulate. Elite soldiers, according to the Post, have been replaced by conscripts. without proper military training. The most modern equipment, such as modern T-80BVM tanks, has disappeared.

There were more than 500 of them, almost all of them died: the Russian battalion was destroyed a few days ago, claims the alleged survivor

In July, near Grakovo, they again suffered heavy losses, and in September, the 200th separate motorized rifle brigade was on the list of losers during the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Kharkov region.

“The branch is in a state of disrepair.” The phrase of a soldier taken to the battlefield by partial mobilization by order of the President of Russia. He was placed in the 200th brigade, and the conditions there are not at all the same as in the elite troops. They wear “painted 1941-style helmets and vests without plates,” he said, adding that they don’t even have military training. “They say: “You are a shooter, here is a machine gun.”

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For Ukrainians, brigade status is a medal they proudly wear on their chests. “What do you know about them?” – asked Colonel-General Alexander Syrsky, who fought in Kharkov as part of the 200th brigade. “They run very well.”

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Vladimir Putin has delayed the invasion of Ukraine at least three times.

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Putin has repeatedly consulted with Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the invasion, Europa Press told Ukraine’s chief intelligence director Vadim Skibitsky.

According to Skibitsky, it was the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which is responsible for counterintelligence and espionage work, that put pressure on Gerasimov and other military agencies to agree to launch an offensive. .

However, according to the Ukrainian intelligence services, the FSB considered that by the end of February sufficient preparations had already been made to guarantee the success of the Russian Armed Forces in a lightning invasion.

However, according to Kyiv, the Russian General Staff provided the Russian troops with supplies and ammunition for only three days, hoping that the offensive would be swift and immediately successful.

The head of Ukrainian intelligence also emphasized the cooperation of local residents, who always provided the Ukrainian authorities with up-to-date information about the Russian army, such as the number of soldiers or the exact location of troops.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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Life sentence for former Swedish official for spying for Russia

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A Stockholm court on Monday sentenced a former Swedish intelligence officer to life in prison for spying for Russia, and his brother to at least 12 years in prison. In what is considered one of the most serious cases in Swedish counterintelligence history, much of the trial took place behind closed doors in the name of national security.

According to the prosecution, it was Russian military intelligence, the GRU, who took advantage of the information provided by the two brothers between 2011 and their arrest at the end of 2021.

Peyman Kia, 42, has held many senior positions in the Swedish security apparatus, including the army and his country’s intelligence services (Säpo). His younger brother, Payam, 35, is accused of “participating in the planning” of the plot and of “managing contacts with Russia and the GRU, including passing on information and receiving financial rewards.”

Both men deny the charges, and their lawyers have demanded an acquittal on charges of “aggravated espionage,” according to the Swedish news agency TT.

The trial coincides with another case of alleged Russian espionage, with the arrest of the Russian-born couple in late November in a suburb of Stockholm by a police team arriving at dawn in a Blackhawk helicopter.

Research website Bellingcat identified them as Sergei Skvortsov and Elena Kulkova. The couple allegedly acted as sleeper agents for Moscow, having moved to Sweden in the late 1990s.

According to Swedish press reports, the couple ran companies specializing in the import and export of electronic components and industrial technology.

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The man was again detained at the end of November for “illegal intelligence activities.” His partner, suspected of being an accomplice, has been released but remains under investigation.

According to Swedish authorities, the arrests are not related to the trial of the Kia brothers.

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Ukraine admitted that Russia may announce a general mobilization

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“They can strengthen their positions. We understand that this can happen. At the same time, we do not rule out that they will announce a general mobilization,” Danilov said in an interview with the Ukrainska Pravda online publication.

Danilov believed that this mobilization would also be convened “to exterminate as many as possible” of Russian citizens, so that “they would no longer have any problems on their territory.”

In this sense, Danilov also reminded that Russia has not given up on securing control over Kyiv or the idea of ​​the complete “destruction” of Ukraine. “We have to be ready for anything,” he said.

“I want everyone to understand that [os russos] they have not given up on the idea of ​​destroying our nation. If they don’t have Kyiv in their hands, they won’t have anything in their hands, we must understand this,” continued Danilov, who also did not rule out that a new Russian offensive would come from “Belarus and other territories.” .

As such, Danilov praised the decision of many of its residents who chose to stay in the Ukrainian capital when the war broke out in order to defend the city.

“They expected that there would be panic, that people would run, that there would be nothing to protect Kyiv,” he added, referring to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

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At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The Russian invasion, justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community at large, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions on Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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