Russian soldiers warned that Ukrainian troops were “better armed” while fighting for control of a key village retaken by Kyiv this month in a new video that emerged on social media on Saturday morning.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his military retook control of Klishchiivka, a town located southwest of Bakhmut, on September 17, marking a critical victory for Ukraine’s latest counteroffensive. Launched in June, Ukraine’s most recent effort at reclaiming captured territory appeared to move at a slower pace than the country’s allies, which have provided it with substantial military aid, initially hoped for. But the victory in Klishchiivka provided Ukraine a much-needed boost in its counteroffensive that has since seen positive indicators.
Russian soldiers who fought for control of the city have now posted video to social media explaining the defeat. The video, which was recorded on September 19, was posted to X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, by the account @wartranslated on Saturday. The origins of the video remain unknown and Newsweek could not independently verify its authenticity.
In the video, a soldier reveals that at least 1,000—but potentially as many 1,200—troops were killed in the battle for Klishchiivka while also explaining Ukraine’s weaponry advantage in combat.
“In Klischiivka, from the lakeside, two Leopards are operating. The zone is fully fired through and shelled with clusters. Moving out are 10 of us, and 5 are covering only because we didn’t take them, so we’d have a chance to come out,” the soldier said. “Enemy manpower superiority is reportedly 10-fold. They’re better armed. We have no magazine, nothing. Machine guns are rotten. We use whatever there is.”
The group of soldiers were members of the Regiment 1307 and Unit 78567. Their status remains unknown.
The soldier who spoke throughout the video, whose identity is unknown, said the video would be posted if “something bad” happened, but that the soldiers would have “stood to the end for Russia.”
“But if our team does not return, if something bad is going to happen. This video will immediately go out on the internet. On behalf of our group of 10 + 5 support, we want the society to raise the question of the training of the mobilized and contractors,” he said.
Newsweek reached out to the Russian Ministry of Defense for comment via email.
Ukraine’s General Staff said in a post on social media on Thursday that its forces continue to repel Russian attacks around Klishchiivka. Meanwhile, Russia’s defense ministry said on that same day that an artillery strike carried out by its southern grouping of forces killed around 30 Ukrainian fighters near the village.
Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Continues Making Progress
Russia has seen some bad news out of Ukraine in recent days as Kyiv’s counteroffensive makes more progress.
Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the war in February 2022, aiming for a quick victory against his Eastern European neighbor, perceived as having a smaller, weaker military. But Ukraine’s stronger-than-expected military response, bolstered by Western aid, has limited Moscow’s progress since last year.
The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense wrote in a Wednesday intelligence update that Putin’s forces are too “over-stretched” to launch their own counterattack.
“Since the start of the invasion, Russia has only rarely maintained an uncommitted army-size grouping which could potentially form the basis of a major new offensive thrust. With 25 CAA apparently being deployed piecemeal to reinforce the over-stretched line, a concerted new Russian offensive is less likely over the coming weeks,” the intelligence update reads.