A Russian soldier in Ukraine deliberately run over his commander with a tank after blaming the commander for costing his friends’ lives, reports said this week.
In a Wednesday Facebook post, Ukrainian journalist Roman Tsymbaliuk said a Russian soldier in a tank battalion of Russia’s 37th Motorized Rifle Brigade accused his unit’s commander, Col. Yuri Medvedev, of costing the lives of his friends and fellow soldiers. During fighting in the Makoriv area of Kyiv, the soldier “ran over the tank commander standing next to him, injuring both his legs,” Tsymbaliuk said, without citing a source for the allegation.
On Friday, Daily Mail reported a Western intelligence official said Medvedev had died of his injuries.
Video shared to social media on March 11 purportedly showed Medvedev being evacuated by Russian troops.
Sky News editor Deborah Haynes also quoted a western official claiming a Russian Col. Medvechek (a possible misspelling of Medvedev), was deliberately killed by his own troops.
“The western official said: ‘The brigade commander of one of the units was killed by his own troops and killed by his own troops, we believe, as a consequence of the scale of loss that had been taken by his brigade,'” Haynes tweeted. “The western official continued: ‘That just gives an insight into perhaps some of the morale challenges that Russian forces are having.'”
“The western official added: ‘We believe he was killed by his own troops deliberately. Indeed we believe he was run over by his own troops and I believe he was the commander of the 37 Motor Rifle Brigade.'”
The alleged case of mutiny within the Russian tank unit follows other reports of low morale among Russian troops deployed in Ukraine.
Earlier this week, the Ukrainian military shared what it said was an intercepted call from a Russian officer leading invading troops in the Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv who said half of his troops had frostbite. The officer further complained of his unit’s inability to evacuate their dead, a shortage of tents, and at least one friendly fire incident in which a Russian aircraft dropped a bomb on his unit’s position.
During an official background press call on Tuesday, a U.S. military official also said the U.S. has assessed Russian troops are suffering from frostbite.
“We’ve picked up some indications that some of their soldiers are suffering from frostbite because they lack the appropriate cold-weather gear for the environment that they’re in,” the senior defense official said. “They haven’t — in addition to food and fuel, even in terms of personal equipment for some of their troops they’re having trouble, and we’ve picked up indications that some troops have actually suffered and taken out of the fight because of frostbite.”
A video posted by a Russian soldier earlier this month reportedly showed dozens of Russian soldiers sheltering in an empty storehouse. The soldier claimed he and others complained that their commanders told them they were simply being deployed to military “exercises” and that once they were actually in Ukraine, they were being used as “cannon fodder.” The soldier said he and others were being forced to sign documents retroactively firing them so that the Russian military could deny they were ever sent into battle.