CARNAGE engulfing Russian troops on the Ukraine frontline emerged yesterday in harrowing pictures showing a column of 31 armoured vehicles being blitzed.
Chaos is seen engulfing soldiers in Vladimir Putin’s “meat grinder” ranks near the eastern town of Vuhledar, with some crushed by their own tanks as they flee.
Footage captured by a drone hovering above the desolate, snow-bound battlefield shows a series of explosions as the Russian force is caught on a remote road.
And Russian commentators yesterday confirmed the catastrophic losses were down to battlefield blunders by commanders ordering poorly-trained recruits to attack.
One said: “Our elite units became an easy target – at least 30 pieces of lost equipment with burning tanks.”
War analyst Igor Strelkov posted: “The losses turned out to be one-sided – the Ukrainians shot the attackers like in a shooting gallery.
“Our fighters could not inflict counter losses on them.
“This was the end of the widely-announced offensive of the Russian army on the entire Donetsk front.”
A Moscow military channel reported that the 31 vehicles lost were from the 155th Separate Guards Marine Brigade from the Russian Pacific Fleet.
Alexander Sladkov, a state TV war correspondent, went on to denounce “criminal commanders” on the Russian side.
Another war correspondent Sergei Mardan reported: “Here are the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation after a year of large-scale hostilities… trampled near the strategic city of Vuhledar, losing equipment and people.
“And no one is to blame for anything.”
Critics attacked the role of controversial East group commander Lt Gen Rustam Muradov, demanding that he should take responsibility for the carnage.
Muradov is a close ally of overall war commander General Valery Gerasimov.
Even pro-war channels which usually trumpet tyrant Putin’s aggression blasted the “complete incompetence” shown.
Video supported a British MoD report which had earlier revealed: “Russian troops likely fled and abandoned at least 30 mostly intact armoured vehicles in a single incident after a failed assault.”
Putin is stepping up the mobilisation of troops being sent to battle entrenched and determined Ukrainian defenders for a bloody spring offensive.