Ukrainian military unit named after Boris Johnson ‘is being wiped out by Wagner forces’, Russian mercenaries claim
- Wagner’s commander claimed that Ukraine’s 24th Mechanized Brigade had been defeated
- The Ukrainian military unit had a flag with the message: ‘Boris Johnson’s Unit’
A Ukrainian military unit named after former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been wiped out by Russian Wagner forces in the besieged city of Bakhmut, the mercenary group claimed today.
A Wagner commander claimed that Ukraine’s 24th Mechanized Brigade had been defeated in heavy fighting in Bakhmut, as Russian troops there tried to encircle Ukrainian troops.
The Wagner forces placed a video with a Ukrainian flag and trophies in a basement used by Kiev’s troops.
On the blue and yellow Ukrainian flag was a message: ‘Boris Johnson’s unit. Boris Johnson.”
Johnson remains a hero in Ukraine for pushing the West to support Kiev with military and financial aid when Vladimir Putin launched his invasion. His role has been repeatedly praised by President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Wagner claimed they discovered the Ukrainian military unit had a flag with the message: ‘Boris Johnson’s Unit’
Pictured: Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his visit to Kiev in August 2022
The Wagner forces placed a video with a Ukrainian flag and trophies in a cellar that had been used by the Kiev armed forces
A Wagner commander claimed in a video: “The Johnson unit held a large stronghold in the woods (in Bakhmut).”
“When they were hit, such a flag was found,” he said, showing Johnson’s name on the material.
There is no confirmation from the Ukrainian forces that the 24th Mechanized Brigade, which has been fighting in Bakhmut for months, has been defeated.
Units of the brigade previously participated in peacekeeping missions in Kosovo and Iraq and in international NATO command and staff exercises code-named Peace Shield.
Russian forces continued their relentless attacks on Bakhmut in their attempt to capture the city and encircle the Ukrainian forces there.
Bakhmut had a population of about 70,000 before the war, but has been ruined by months of fighting as a focal point for Russian attacks and determined Ukrainian defenses.
‘The enemy continues to advance towards Bakhmut. He will not stop storming the city of Bakhmut,” the Ukrainian army said at a morning briefing.
A Russian takeover of the small mining town would pave the way for the conquest of the last remaining urban centers in the industrial province of Donetsk.
Zelensky said in a video address late Tuesday that the battle for Bakhmut was “the most difficult” but that defending it was essential.
Ukrainian soldiers ride a self-propelled howitzer as the Russian assault on Ukraine continues, near the frontline town of Bakhmut, Ukraine, on Monday
Bakhmut had a population of about 70,000 before the war, but has been ruined by months of fighting as the focal point of Russian attacks and determined Ukrainian defenses
“Russia generally does not take people into account and sends them to our positions in constant waves, the intensity of the fighting is only increasing,” Zelensky said.
Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov said Russian forces had driven a wedge between two villages north of Bakhmut, Berkhivka and Yahidne, in their attempt to encircle the town.
“This breakthrough on the northern flank of Bakhmut poses a clear threat to us,” he said in comments posted on social media.
While most of the Russian attacks have targeted Bakhmut and other towns and villages in Donetsk, the Ukrainian army said its forces had repelled 85 Russian attacks on various parts of the frontline in the past day.