Russian troops ‘drive tank over commander’ amid anger at high casualties

Colonel Yuri Medvedev is said to have suffered severe leg injuries in the attack

Kim Sengupta
in Kyiv
Saturday 26 March 2022 15:46
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Russian soldiers drove a tank over one of their senior officers after their unit suffered a massive number of losses in combat against Ukrainian forces, according to officials in the west and Kyiv.

Colonel Yuri Medvedev is said to have suffered severe leg injuries in the attack, which took place after almost half the troops in his brigade of 1,500 either died, or were wounded, in a series of clashes in the early weeks of the war.

Some of the intense fighting the 37th Brigade was involved in took place in Makariv, outside Kyiv, which the Russian forces have been trying to seize in an attempt to encircle the Ukrainian capital.

Makariv has now been recaptured from the Russians by Ukrainian troops.

It came amid western and Ukrainian claims, refuted by the Kremlin, that  between 7,000 and  15,000 Russian service personnel were killed in action in the first month of the war.

Col Medvedev is said to have been airlifted to Belarus for emergency treatment and awarded a Russian military honour following the attempt on his life.

(PA Graphics)

There has been no independent corroboration of the attack, but a video put out by the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, whose forces are fighting on behalf of Moscow in Ukraine, appears to show the colonel being medically evacuated.

One Chechen fighter is shown in the footage saying  “hold on…how are you? OK? Talk to us…”

Medvedev replies: ‘I’m OK. Where are you from?” He is told to keep his body armour on  before being unloaded on a stretcher, with blankets covering his legs.

Kadyrov claimed that Medvedev’s rescue was proof of the success of Vladimir Putin’s so-called ‘de-Nazification’ plan in Ukraine. “There are no more threats to his [ Medvedev’s] life. I hope he’ll soon be back on his feet", wrote the Chechen leader.

The incident was first reported by Roman Tsymbaliuk, a Ukrainian journalist. He said in a Facebook post that “a soldier, choosing a convenient moment during the battle, ran over his brigade commander, Colonel Yuri Medvedev, with a tank, injuring both his legs.”

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