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Draftees from Irkutsk appeal to Putin for help: ‘Command told us directly that we are expendable.’

Mobilized soldiers from Russia’s Irkutsk region recorded a video appeal to Vladimir Putin, asking him to “deal with lawless and criminal orders from command.” The news outlet Lyudi Baikala published the video.

The draftees claim that the were transferred to the First Slavic Brigade of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic,” where command created “assault units in one day” from their ranks, and then sent them to storm the Avdiivka fortified area without any support, artillery, communications, sappers, or reconnaissance. 

“Command told us directly that we are expendable, and that the only chance we have of returning home is getting injured,” the soldiers say. They also report that commanders from the self-proclaimed DNR fired machine guns and infantry fighting vehicles at draftees who refused to join the assault units. 

The draftees add that their battalion is “almost completely destroyed,” and that they suffer heavy losses every day because command doesn’t know the “real” situation at the front. They say that their unit has been replenished with mobilized soldiers six times since November.

The governor of Irkutsk, Igor Kobzev, posted on Telegram that he has asked the military prosecutor’s office to clarify the situation. He promised that the mobilized soldiers would be transferred to a different location in the near future. “I’m keeping the situation under control,” he said.

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