locked in holes in the ground for days

The british intelligence reveals his suspicions about new Russian techniques for punish to his soldiers. According to multiple reports, at least part of the troops are being retaliated by being locked up in holes dug into the ground where they remain for several days and even weeks. Everything indicates that the cruel method would be carried out since October 2022, increasing after the appointment of the general Valery Gerasimov as Chief of the General Staff.

This punishment is called ‘zidans’, open air dungeons made up of a metallic grid that covers a hole dug in the ground. According to multiple reports, “Russian personnel claim to have been locked up in ‘zidans’ by minor crimesincluding drunkenness or the mere fact of trying to dodge military service”.

One of the testimonials belongs to Flarit Baitemirovsoldier volunteer of the artillery division of the 1st battery of the regiment 1199which claims to be locked in a hole of 3 meters deep since March 23. “I am a prisoner of my own side, the Russians”denounces on Telegram in a video addressed to Ministry of Defenceto whom he asks for help to stop the criminal cases that his superiors intend to impose on him.

The reason for his punishment is based on having drunk alcohol with his partners. Baitemirov claims that he was beaten before being put in the pit and that his superiors threatened to attack his family. He points to the officer of the regiment and, specifically, to the colonel whom he accuses of “corrupt”, insinuating that it appropriates the resources that arrive in the trucks of humanitarian aid.

Flarit is not the only one. Another soldier from the same regiment, pavel gorelovHe confessed that both he and several of his colleagues suffered abuse and injuries. “My companions’ faces were smashed, all we did was drink some beer”, alleges. “We are immersed in mud, in the rain, we are all wet,” he stresses.

‘Gerasimov effect’

On January 11, 2023, General Valery Gerasimovpersonally assumed the command of the ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine at the head of the General Staff. His tactic has been based on a “winter offensive” that sought to extend Russian control over the entire region of the Donbas.

Substitute for Sergei Surovikinis known as one of the ‘fathers’ of the hybrid warfare either conflicts in gray area. This methodology consists of the use of non-military tactics, to remain below attack thresholdincreasing the tension between the actors involved until the outbreak of the armed conflict.

At the beginning of April, the British intelligence services questioned the continuity of Gerasimov, due to his winter “failure”. From London they considered that the offensive launched by Moscow “had only achieved marginal gains at the cost of tens of thousands of casualties.”

This assumption clashes with the declarations of the wagner groupwho have assured that on Sunday they achieved advance 100-150 meters in Bakhmut. This breakthrough would leave them just “2.98 square kilometers” to get hold of it full control of the territory.

Another source from the group informed the official RIA Novosti news agency that the mercenaries have taken over practically all the tall buildings in the city, with the exception of the headquarters of the Institute of Medicinewhich is located at the highest point in the west of Bakhmut.

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