- Ukrainian soldier Vatagin said Wagner sends its troops in multiple waves
- Vatagin said Wagner fighters are ‘dirtier’ and do not wear military flak
- Between 20,000 to 30,000 Wagner fighters have been killed in Bakhmut
It takes more effort to defeat fighters from Russia’s infamous Wagner private military company (PMC) than it does members of Moscow’s army, a Ukrainian soldier revealed. This may interest you : Oil Rises On China Optimism, Market Shrugs Off U.S. Inventory Build.
Ukrainian soldier Dmytro Vatagin, stationed in Ivanivske village, said Wagner mercenaries typically attack Ukrainian positions in unpredictable patterns early in the morning. But while the attacks make them seem “unprepared” for battle, it is the irregularity of the patterns that make them harder to defeat than Russian military forces.
“It’s easier to fight the Russian army because you understand what they’re going to do and how you’re going to work against them,” Vatagin told The Washington Post, adding that Wagner mercenaries also attack in multiple waves. “Wagner and the mobilized are being just thrown like meat.”
When asked how they distinguish Russian military troops from Wagner fighters, Vatagin said the latter usually do not wear clothing seen on army soldiers.
“[Wagner fighters are] dirtier and they don’t have the same military uniforms or flak jackets like regular Russian soldiers,” he said.
Vatagin’s remark comes as the battle for control of Bakhmut continues, with Kyiv continuing to proclaim that it has no intention of surrendering the city, which is nearly destroyed due to the war.
“No one will hand over Bakhmut. We will fight as long as we can,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said last week, Ukrainian news agency Interfax noted.
Western officials believe that Russia’s Wagner group has lost between 20,000 to 30,000 fighters in the battle in Bakhmut. This reportedly accounts for at least a third of the group’s ranks.
It is unclear how many soldiers Ukraine has lost in Bakhmut. However, Western officials say the estimate is “much lower” than Russia’s death toll.
In line with comments from Western officials, Col. Serhiy Cherevaty, a spokesman for Ukraine’s eastern group of forces, said Bakhmut will likely be the Wagner’s last stand, noting that the group’s supply of prisoner recruits is nearly exhausted.
In total, Russia has lost 154,830 soldiers in the war in Ukraine, including 1,060 who were killed over the past day, per estimates from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.