ChrisO_wiki Profile picture
Jan 2 17 tweets 4 min read
1/ The accounts of mobilised Russian soldiers who survived the Ukrainian HIMARS strike on Makiivka are beginning to emerge. Many more than the official figure of 63 are reported to have died. "We are cleaning their brains off our boots," says one survivor. ⬇️
2/ The relatives of two mobilised men from Samara region say that a total of four HIMARS missiles hit the building, which they say was occupied by about 400 men at the time. They included soldiers from the 44th and 45th regiments. Some escaped after the first missile hit.
3/ According to the relative of one of the survivors, "Many more people [than the claimed 63] were killed. They are still being pulled out from under the rubble." She suspects that local people gave the location to the Ukrainians: "They were breathing poison on them there."
4/ Some soldiers managed to escape from the building's basement. As previously reported, many of the casualties will need to be identified from DNA records. One survivor says he and his colleagues have been "cleaning brains off our boots".
5/ A wife says: “Indeed, there are many dead. I know that almost everything they had was left in that place [in the school building]. I only know that many were torn apart to such an extent that there was practically nothing left of the bodies."
6/ Survivors have been taken to hospital in Russia's Rostov region. The wife of one survivor says that her husband "just texted a few words to me that he is alive and well. More guys called who survived, they're walking around naked in flip flops.
7/ There is nothing [for them]: no things, no medicines, no money, no food ... It's just awful."
8/ The lack of supplies for the survivors is highlighted by an appeal posted by relatives of mobilised men from Saratov who they say have lost everything in the attack: "All company property has been destroyed, we are bare-assed.
9/ "People only have left what they were wearing, there is nothing more." A relative says: "Everything that the mobilized had with them remains under the rubble. We need EVERYTHING!" The relatives are now trying to crowd-source supplies to replace what was lost.
10/ Although claims have been published that the Ukrainians managed to locate the Russian troop concentration in Makiivka from cellphone data, this is doubted by the well-connected VChK-OGPU Telegram channel. It reports:
11/ "Makiivka is a small town, next to Donetsk and accordingly, everyone can see who and what has arrived in the compound. Especially when it's a lot of fighters and equipment. Even there, not everyone is pro-Russian. And there are spotters and [artillery] correctors.
12/ But in spite of it, they periodically place mobilized people there. Moreover, HIMARS has already flown into those regions.

Last summer, the headquarters of a tank battalion in Horlivka was smashed to rubble by a similar flight [of missiles].
13/ This fact was not publicised and not many people knew about it. The tankers had been meeting there in a five-storey building, which was some kind of administrative building, until February. In June, the mobiks from the DNR were moved in. The top two floors were full.
14/ Then they were spontaneously removed somewhere and the next day rockets flew in. There was clearly a calculation to hit a cluster of fighters, the tankers hardly ever showed up at the headquarters. But, thanks to chance, the recruits survived.
15/ It is unlikely that in these two cases the AFU was guided by cell phone signals." /end


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More from @ChrisO_wiki

Jan 4
1/ Recriminations are continuing in Russia about the disastrous Ukrainian HIMARS strike on mobilised soldiers in Makiivka. The Russian ministry of defence's statement blaming the mobilised themselves for giving away their location is being heavily criticised as a cover-up. ⬇️ Image
2/ In a statement yesterday, Lieutenant General Sergei Sevryukov said that "the main reason for the incident was the activation and mass use – contrary to a prohibition – of mobile phones by [Russian] personnel in the enemy's range.
3/ "This factor allowed the enemy to track and determine the coordinates of the soldiers' locations for a missile strike."

However, Russian commentators are sceptical about this explanation and consider it to be an effort to deflect the blame away from the army's leaders.
Read 25 tweets
Jan 3
1/ The official number of deaths in the Makiivka HIMARS strike is reportedly likely to rise sharply as many bodies, said to have been reduced to "mincemeat", are still being recovered from the rubble. Meanwhile, relatives are concerned that Russia's army is 'hiding' survivors. ⬇️
2/ There is still no agreement among Russian sources about how many people were in the vocational school before it was hit. While the Russian ministry of defence has given an official figure of 63 dead, this likely reflects only the ones that can be identified.
3/ The infamous "Wargonzo" (Semyon Pegov) says that "the death toll is growing as the rubble is cleared". Identifying them is likely to take some time. The wife of one survivor says:

"There are a lot of people there who have been turned into mincemeat.
Read 19 tweets
Jan 3
1/ Russian soldiers who have been injured in the war in Ukraine are finding that promised compensation money from the Russian government is not being paid due to military bureaucracy. "We are just meat with splinters for them," one soldier says. ⬇️ Image
2/ Dozens of soldiers are complaining in Russian social media channels about the lack of payment for their injuries. A military lawyer, Maxim Grebenyuk, says he is receiving 20-30 requests for help each day from all categories of soldiers – contractors, volunteers and mobilised.
3/ Soldiers are supposed to receive a certificate of injury when they are treated in hospital, so that they can use it to support an application for compensation for a war injury, but this often doesn't happen.
Read 21 tweets
Jan 2
1/ The Russian VChK-OGPU Telegram channel, which appears to be well-connected with the Russian security forces, says that at least 45 mobilised soldiers mostly from the Saratov region (and some from the Ulyanovsk region) died in yesterday's HIMARS strike in Makiivka. ⬇️
2/ VChK-OGPU says that according to a source, "just before the HIMARS hit the vocational school building in Makiivka, someone was firing fireworks near the building.
3/ "Now they are finding out who did it, according to preliminary data [it was] not mobilised people located in the building, but some of them went outside to see [and this was] what saved their lives," the source said.
Read 6 tweets
Jan 1
1/ Several Russian officers who refused orders to carry out suicidal attacks in Ukraine were imprisoned by their own side in July 2022. Their relatives have heard nothing from them since. Now they are trying to discover what has happened to them. ⬇️
2/ The independent Russian media outlet ASTRA reports on the cases of the five, who all served separately in different parts of Ukraine before being imprisoned in a basement in Brianka in the 'Luhansk People's Republic' (LNR) after refusing to participate further in hostilities.
3/ Their last message to their relatives said: "We were brought to some abandoned unit in the LNR, brought down to the basement, guarded, it was damp, there was nowhere to sleep, just a bare floor, no food or water, and we were told to stay here until further notice."
Read 37 tweets
Dec 30, 2022
1/ A Russian soldier fighting near Bakhmut says that President Zelensky's recent visit has inspired Ukrainian soldiers to fight with renewed vigour. Meanwhile his own side is being pushed back and are suffering heavy casualties, with 40% of his unit having been killed. ⬇️
2/ The independent Russian media outlet Important Stories has spoken with a frontline Russian soldier near Bakhmut who says that Zelensky's visit had a striking effect on the Ukrainians, “as if they were brought some kind of holy water for courage”.
3/ Important Stories reports that according to its interviewee, "the Armed Forces of Ukraine pushed the Russians away from their positions and continue to advance, "sometimes successfully."
Read 8 tweets

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