Russian soldiers ran over their commander, apparently blaming him for heavy losses in Ukraine, Western official says

donetsk separatists ukraine
Pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk region of Ukraine on March 1, 2022.Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
  • Russian troops ran over their commander in response to the Ukraine invasion, a Western official said.

  • The official said it was done as "consequences of the losses they had taken," one report said.

  • The official said the colonel died; an earlier report said he was taken to hospital with injured legs.

Russian soldiers ran over their commander in protest of the heavy losses that Russia has suffered during its invasion of Ukraine, a Western official said.

The official was cited by several UK defense writers on Friday afternoon.

It appeared to confirm a previously reported story about a senior commander run over by a tank.

Larisa Brown, defense editor of The Times of London, tweeted, citing the unnamed official, that the commander "has been killed by one of his own units" and that the colonel "was ran over by his own troops deliberately."

The colonel was named as Colonel Medvechek, commander of 37 Motor Rifle Brigade, by Deborah Haynes, security and defense editor for Sky News, who also cited a Western official.

The earlier report had named him as Colonel Yuri Medvedev, a similar but not identical name.

The official said he was "run over by his soldiers," according to Haynes.

Haynes tweeted that the official said: "The brigade commander of one of the units was killed by his own troops and killed by his own troops, we believe, as a consequence of the scale of loss that had been taken by his brigade."

Gordon Corera, the security correspondent for the BBC, tweeted a similar account.

An earlier report said that the colonel was not killed, but that his feet were crushed.

Ukrainian journalist Roman Tsymbaliuk said on Facebook on Wednesday that a soldier ran over the officer's legs with a tank, and that he was brought to a hospital in Belarus.

Russia's progress in invading Ukraine has been significantly slower than what Russia expected. Intelligence officials have spoken of very low morale among Russian forces, who appear to be poorly supplied and some of whom have said they were misled about the invasion.

A senior NATO member said on Wednesday that up to 15,000 Russian troops may have been killed. Fewer than 3,000 American troops were killed in Afghanistan over 20 years.

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