Computer Crime Research Center


A Ukrainian Town Deals Russia One of the War’s Most Decisive Routs

Date: March 16, 2022
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: Yaroslav Trofimov

... Javelin missiles. As Russian armor caught fire??”including three of the five tanks in the wheat field??”soldiers abandoned functioning vehicles and escaped on foot or sped off in the BTRs that still had fuel. They left crates of ammunition.

Mr. Rudenko picked up a Russian conscript days later, he said, who served as an assistant artillery specialist at a Grad multiple-rocket launcher that attacked Voznesensk from a forest. The 18-year-old conscript, originally from eastern Ukraine and a Crimea resident since 2014, suffered a concussion after a Ukrainian shell hit near him. He woke the next morning, left his weapon and wandered into a village, Mr. Rudenko said. There, a woman took him into her home and called the village head, who informed Territorial Defense. “He’s still in shock about what happened to him,” Mr. Rudenko said.

Mr. Dombrovsky, the reconnaissance-unit commander, said he captured several soldiers in their early 20s and a 31-year-old senior lieutenant from the Russian military intelligence. The lieutenant, he said, had forced a private to swap uniforms but was discovered because of the age discrepancy??”and because Ukrainian forces found Russian personnel files in the column’s command vehicle.

“The Russians had orders to come in, seize, and await further instructions,” Mr. Dombrovsky said. “But they had no orders for what to do if they are defeated. That, they didn’t plan for.”

Russian troops had detained a local man on March 2 after they found him to have binoculars, villagers said. “They had put him in a cellar and told him they will execute him in the morning, for correcting artillery fire,” Mr. Dombrovsky said, adding that the detainee wasn’t a spotter. “But in the morning they didn’t have time to execute him. They were too busy fleeing.”

The Russians retreat
As the Russian forces retreated on March 3, they shelled the downhill part of Rakove. A direct hit pierced the roof of the local clinic, where Mr. Dombrovsky’s mother, Raisa, worked as a nurse. “We’ve just built a new roof,” she sighed, showing the gaping hole. “But it doesn’t matter. The main thing is that we have kicked them out, and survived.”

When villagers returned to Rakove on March 4, they found their homes ransacked. “Blankets, cutlery, all gone. Lard, milk, cheese, also gone,” said Ms. Horchuk. “They didn’t take the potatoes because they didn’t have time to cook.”

This week, village homes still bore traces of Russian soldiers. Cupboards and closets were still flung open from looting, and Russian military rations and half-eaten jars of pickles and preserves littered floors.

The Ukrainian army’s 80th brigade was towing away the last remaining Russian BTRs with “Z” painted on their sides, the identification markers that in Russia have become the symbol of the invasion. About 15 Russian tanks and other vehicles were in working or salvageable condition, said Mr. Dombrovsky. “We are ready to hit the Russians with their own weapons,” he said. Others, mostly burned-out wrecks, were removed from streets because they scared civilians and contained ordnance, the mayor said.

Electricity, disrupted during combat, has returned in Voznesensk, as have internet, gas and water services. ATMs have been restocked with cash, supermarkets with food.

The only explosions are from bomb squads occasionally disposing ordnance. Mr. Velichko, the mayor, fielded citizen phone calls Tuesday, telling one he would take care of a possibly rabid dog and assuring another that her utilities wouldn’t be cut in wartime even if she was late in paying. He argued with an army commander because Ukrainian soldiers had siphoned fuel from the gas station.

Spartak Hukasian, head of the Voznesensk district council, said the city??”no longer near front lines??”was starting to get used to relatively peaceful life again. “He who laughs last laughs best,” he said. “We haven’t had a chance to laugh until now.”
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