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Unit of mobilized Russian soldiers from Irkutsk who complained about lack of military training almost all killed in battle, relatives say

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Mobilized soldiers from Russia’s Irkutsk region, who complained on three separate occasions that they were thrown into combat without training, have almost all died in the storming of fortifications near Avdiivka, reported Radio Liberty affiliate Sibir.Realii, citing the servicemens’ relatives. Several men were wounded and the rest are missing, according to the report.

According to the wife of a survivor, her husband called her from the hospital where he was being treated following a shrapnel wound. “He says there is nothing left of the regiment. So far [we know of] only two wounded, the rest are either dead or abandoned there,» the woman said. She also claimed that her husband was given a week for treatment, after which he would be sent back to the front line.

In late February, mobilized men from Irkutsk assigned to regiment No. 1439 recorded a third video appeal in which they said they were being sent into combat without training and threatened with charges of desertion. “They formed assault units out of us Territorial Defense soldiers in one day, sending us to storm fortifications around Avdiivka without any support, artillery, communications, sappers, reconnaissance... [They’re sending us] to the slaughter,” the appeal read. The mobilized also said that evacuation groups from the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” only took their own fighters, focusing on those with light injuries. The severely wounded and dead are left behind, and then they are reported missing, the men said.

Igor Kobzev, governor of the Irkutsk region, has promised that “the men will be transferred to a new place of service in the near future.” Their relatives say that nothing of the sort has happened. On March 1, reports revealed that the 1st and 2nd battalions of mobilized troops from Irkutsk were sent to storm fortifications near Avdiivka in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

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