On May 24th, Russian propaganda platforms (Правда, RT на русском), აRussian-language Facebook group (Вежливые люди) and individual Georgian and Russian Facebook users (Nutsa javelidze Fantina Georgian, Serg Bard) disseminated identical information that due to the insufficient amount of weapons, Ukraine’s 115th Brigade refused to fight for Sievierodonetsk and decided to leave the battlefield. According to the news, these fighters were accused of desertion. The posts also mention that the soldiers repeatedly called upon Zelenskyy for help, although they fought against the heavy Russian artillery with only machine guns for more than two weeks.
The information disseminated about the 115th Brigade is partly false. In fact, the video depicts only the part of the volunteers of the 115th Brigade of the Third Battalion of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. According to the commander of one of the units of the same Brigade, the Ukrainian side is equipped with all kinds of weapons and equipment. Even though some volunteers indeed refused to continue fighting in Sievierodonetsk, most of the fighters of the 115th Brigade remain on the ground and continue to defend the city.
On May 19th, soldiers of the 115th Brigade of the 3rd Battalion of the Ukrainian Armed Forces published a video address in which they refused to continue carrying out the mission because of the lack of sufficient combat and defensive means to fight the enemy. The video address also noted that they would not be able to continue fighting in such conditions and refused to serve in the 115th Brigade.
On May 21st, a video address by other members of the 115th Brigade was published on journalist Yuri Butusov’s YouTube channel. According to Viktor Davidov, commander of one of the units of the 115th Brigade, the disseminated video is not true since the Ukrainian side is equipped with all kinds of weapons and equipment. According to the commander, the people who recorded the video were not military personnel but volunteers who initially wanted to defend Ukraine but could not withstand the pressure and gave up, posing a threat to other fighters.
According to the unit commander, the entire Brigade is provided with weapons, food, clothing and weapons, and they have everything they need for defence, including the Javelins. The statement also notes that most of the battalion remains in positions and continues to fight in Sievierodonetsk.
David Vyacheslavovich, 115th Brigade: “They were provided with everything, food, clothes, there was no problem with armaments at all. I officially declare that it was desertion because they abandoned their positions and posed a threat to another 56 soldiers. They had two weeks and enough material to arrange the trenches: logs, boards, and enough time, but they did not obey the commander’s orders. They thought they had come to a resort.“
Disinformation related to the Ukrainian armed forces during the Russia-Ukraine war was fact-checked by the “Myth Detector” in the past as well. For more, see:
- Looting or Helping? – What does the Photo of the Ukrainian Servicemen Depict?
- Disinformation of ‘Russia Today’ about the Sale of Georgian Humanitarian Aid by Ukrainian Soldiers
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