Recordings have emerged in which Russian mercenaries subjected to a joint U.S. strike that killed dozens of their comrades describe the incident as “a total fuck-up.”
Polygraph.info, a Voice of America project, published three recordings, which it received from a source close to the Kremlin. The source said that the recorded phone calls were made by personnel from CHVK Wagner, a Russian private military company.
The incident in question occurred on the night and early morning of Feb. 7-8, when Syrian government forces—backed by Russian mercenaries employed by CHVK Wagner—attempted to capture an oil refinery near the Syrian city of Deir Ezzor. After Russian personnel came into contact with American troops stationed there, the U.S. forces responded with artillery and air strikes.
Polygraph.info transcribed and translated the conversations recorded.
In the first audio clip, a man says “one squadron fucking lost 200 people …right away, another one lost 10 people… and I don’t know about the third squadron but it got torn up pretty badly, too… So three squadrons took a beating.”
The man explains that American forces used artillery and helicopter gunships to repel the assault. “They were all shelling the holy fuck out of it and our guys didn’t have anything besides the assault rifles… nothing at all, I’m not even talking about shoulder-fired SAMs or anything like that… they tore us to pieces, put us through hell,” he says.
The speaker is also critical of the Russian government’s response to the incident, saying, “They beat our asses like we were little pieces of shit… but our fucking government will go in reverse now and nobody will respond or anything and nobody will punish anyone for this.”
“My guys just called me, they are sitting there drinking, many are MIA, it’s a total fuck-up, another humiliation… nobody gives a fuck about us.”
In a second clip, a man explains that the battle quickly descended into a massacre as the Russians lost all armored support. “Out of all vehicles only one tank survived and one BRDM (Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle) after the attack, all other BRDMs and tanks were destroyed in the first minutes of the fight, right away.”