Russian soldiers patrol a street in Mariupol on April 12, 2022, as Moscow intensifies a campaign to take the strategic Ukrainian port city
AFP / Alexander NEMENOV


  • Footage showed Russia's 72nd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade fleeing Bakhmut's battlefield
  • A Ukrainian army brigade said the fleeing Russian troops left "500 corpses" in Bakhmut
  • Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin lashed out at Russia's top military brass for the incident

A video has surfaced showing a Russian army brigade fleeing their combat positions in the besieged Ukrainian town of Bakhmut.

The 3rd Separate Assault Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces confirmed the withdrawal of the Russian military's 72nd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade from Bakhmut.

"[Yevgeny] Prigozhin's report about the escape of the 72nd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces from the vicinities of Bakhmut and the '500 corpses' of Russians who remained there is true," the Ukrainian army brigade said, referring to the recent remarks from Prigozhin, the head of the notorious Wagner mercenary group.

"The 3rd Assault Brigade is grateful for the publicity of our success at the front," the Ukrainian forces added.

The Ukrainian army brigade noted that they had repelled Russian fighters on the southwestern vicinities of Bakhmut, killing 64 military personnel, Ukrainska Pravda reported.

The 3rd Separate Assault Brigade has also captured five Russians in their combat operations while destroying several warehouses containing Russian ammunition, mortars and "more than one infantry fighting vehicle."

On Tuesday, Prigozhin lashed out anew at Russia's military leadership after some Russian soldiers abandoned Bakhmut.

"Today, everything is being done so that the front line crumbles. Today, one of the defense ministry's units fled one of our flanks, abandoning their positions. Everyone fled," Prigozhin said, Al Jazeera reported.

The Wagner boss blamed the incident on the "absolute stupidity" of Russian army commanders, arguing that the commands received by the troops on the ground were "absolutely criminal."

Prigozhin also revealed he was told that he and his mercenary fighters would be branded as traitors if they withdrew their combat positions in Bakhmut.

Prigozhin, a Russian oligarch and ally of President Vladimir Putin, previously threatened to withdraw his fighters after accusing Moscow's top defense officials of failing to supplement them with ammunition and letting thousands of Russian troops die on the Ukrainian battlefield.

But the Wagner leader walked back from his pull-out plans after Russia assured the mercenary group they would be supplied with ammunition to sustain their assault on Bakhmut.

Bakhmut has witnessed the fiercest battles since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine more than a year ago.

Wagner mercenaries became the leading Russian force to capture Bakhmut from Ukraine. However, the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War estimated that possibly half of the Russian paramilitary group's 50,000 fighters had been killed in the fight to control the Ukrainian city.

According to the casualty report released by the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on Monday, at least 195,620 Russian military personnel have been eliminated since the war began in February 2022.

Ukrainian service members fire a mortar towards Russian troops outside the frontline town of Bakhmut