Apparently, there were problems with information gathering and electronic warfare in the weeks leading up to the withdrawal. Commercial drones were alien to some soldiers. Jammers that were supposed to disrupt Ukrainian communications have repeatedly failed. Papers and diaries report that troops continue to shrink: through death, desertion, and pressure. Two units were said to be at only 20 percent of their capacity.
Documents and personal notes carefully noted how the situation of the Russian soldiers was changing. There was probably a normal management meeting on the morning of July 19. Then, in the afternoon, Ukrainian troops attacked the village of Hrakov, under the jurisdiction of Balaklia, with tanks and artillery. According to the document, the front reported by radio that they were retreating. The phrase found in Bunker’s notebook: “Running out of ammunition.” Although support came from other units, casualties were high – 39 wounded, 9 killed.
After a few days the situation worsened. The drone itself, which can be purchased at general electronics stores, had software problems. On the other hand, the Ukrainians worked. And then, on July 24, American Hemera missiles came into position.
A Russian commander described to Reuters reporters how effective it was to hit Ukraine with Himmers missiles. They will hit very precise command posts. “It’s like roulette,” said the man nicknamed “Plakat Junior 888,” “you’re either lucky or you’re not. Hits can come anywhere.” Russian troops fought back, but not with great success. Repeated fighting broke out throughout August, but it mainly drained Russian troops and their elements.
On September 6, a Ukrainian counterattack began, primarily with artillery. Then the Kiev troops surrounded the village and the Russian units had to flee. The command center was shelled and burst into flames. Only the bunker was kept, but by then it was probably already deserted.
Reports of torture
The discovered bunker was said to be in charge of a colonel named Ivan Popov. He belongs to the 11th Army Corps, which is part of the Baltic Fleet. According to Russian media reports, Popov is said to have worked in Chechnya and Georgia. Attempts by Reuters to interview him were unsuccessful.