- A Ukrainian soldier compared fighting against the Russian group “Wagner” to something like a “zombie movie”.
- “They are climbing over the dead bodies of their comrades, stepping on them,” the soldier told CNN.
- He detailed the “non-stop” 10-hour battle, during which the Russian mercenaries “don’t stop coming”.
A Ukrainian soldier who recently encountered a group of Wagner mercenaries said the fighters “didn’t stop coming” during the battle in Bakhmut, Ukraine.
“We fought for about 10 hours straight. And it wasn’t just in waves, it was seamless. So it’s like they didn’t stop coming,” a soldier named Andrey told CNN of the combat troops. Wagner Group, a Kremlin-linked private military contractor comprised of mercenaries and ex-prisoners.
He said the battle was between 20 Ukrainian soldiers and about 200 WAGs and described it as a “terrifying and surreal experience”.
Andrey elaborated on the ruthless nature of these fighters, comparing the battle to something out of a “zombie movie.”
“They climb over the dead bodies of their friends, stepping on them,” he told CNN. He even suggested that the Wagnerian troops might “get some drugs before the attack.”
Andrei said their gunner was “almost going crazy” because he knew he was shooting and hitting his targets, but none of the troops he hit were going down.
“He said, ‘I know I shot him, but he’s not going down,'” Andrey told CNN. “And then after a while, when he can bleed out, so he just falls over.”
The soldier said his squad’s AK-47s got so hot from constantly firing at Wagner’s troops that they had to keep disabling the weapons.
He described Wagner’s method of attack to CNN, saying that first they send in a group of attackers, mostly recruits from Russian prisons. At that point, they start “digging positions,” Andrey said.
The second group then moves forward to claim more land “step by step,” moving forward and in position, Andrey recalled. As Wagner loses more troops and groups are depleted, they send more in an attempt to hold their place on the battlefield.
Finally, Andri’s group was surrounded. “We didn’t expect them to come from there,” he told CNN.
“We were shooting until the last bullet, that’s why we threw all the grenades we had and left only me and some guys, we were helpless in that situation,” he told CNN.
At the end of the day, Andrei and his friends got lucky. Wagner retreated.
Tens of thousands of Wagner fighters have joined Russia’s military effort to capture Bakhmut, where fighting has raged for months. Among the group’s fighters are conscripted prisoners sent to the front lines, sometimes alongside newly mobilized Russian troops, and used to absorb heavy Ukrainian fire.
US military officials said those forces were taking on Ukrainian firepower.
Top US general Mark Milley said last month that Russian casualties had reached “well over 100,000”. That estimate includes the regular military and Wagner.
Although Wagner is suffering heavy losses, the group is also the only Moscow-aligned force to have achieved any success on the battlefield, particularly the capture of the strategically insignificant Soledar, and its prominence has occasionally caused rifts among the mercenaries. the group and the regular army of Russia.
Last week, the US government announced a series of new sanctions targeting the Wagner Group, calling it a “significant transnational criminal organization” and targeting individuals and entities involved in supporting its global network.