A Russian military unit came under fire and took significant casualties in Ukraine back in June near the city of Kreminna in the Luhansk Oblast.
What was notable is that this incident occurred as the soldiers were waiting to hear a motivational speech from their commander.
Instead of hearing him deliver his remarks, the troops were lined up when a Ukrainian M142 HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) targeted the position.
For reasons that have yet to be clear, the Russian soldiers remained in the area like lemmings, which resulted in a significant loss of life.
According to Insider’s Sam Fellman, the casualties were as high as 200, with as many as 100 dead—making it one of the most deadly HIMARS strikes.
Kreminna, located in the Russian-occupied eastern region of Luhansk, was reported to be within the roughly 15-mile range of Ukraine’s 155mm artillery as the time, as well as even longer-range precision weapons including the U.S.-made HIMARS and the British Storm Shadow.
Russian Bloggers Outraged
Equally noteworthy is that it wasn’t actually Kyiv that reported the folly.
Rather, a number of prominent Russian military bloggers expressed outrage on social media that the commander’s inactions resulted in the death of a large number of his men, The Moscow Times first reported.
“Near Kremennaya, a tragic incident occurred in one of the divisions that were about to go on the offensive. For two hours, people stood in a crowd in one place and waited for the division commander to say his motivating word,” Russian military blogger Rybar wrote. “Instead of the general, the military waited for the Ukrainian MLRS HIMARS and artillery.”
Another author from the Two Majors channel shared a similar sentiment, “Stand in a column for two hours in one place! Well, what are you doing, father commanders, you command people. We are at war with our own stupidity and sloppiness, coated with fancy reports from above.”
Outrage was further directed at the Kremlin’s inability to find capable combat commanders.
“If by the middle of the second year of the war, there are commanders that carry columns to the front and build personnel in one big pile, and then wait for the enemy artillery to strike, then such commanders must be shot before the formation, even if they are colonels or even generals,” wrote Russian blogger Sergey Kolyasnikov on Wednesday. “The Armed Forces of Ukraine have no merit in this war. We are at war with our own stupidity and sloppiness.”
Face a Firing Squad
The Russian propagandists also identified the commander in question as being Major General Sukhrab Akhmedov, who some have suggested should face a firing squad for his repeated mishandling of the war effort.
Rob Lee, senior fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, said in a tweet that Akhmedov, who is the commander of the 20th Combined Arms Army, “was previously blamed for the heavy losses from the 155th NIB in Pavlivka in November.”
It remains unclear if Akhmedov will face any punishment, but some critics have noted that Russia has largely responded to failure with promotions.
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.