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The story of an elite Russian unit’s war in Ukraine – BBC Newsnight

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Russia’s 331st Guards Parachute Regiment is considered “the best of the best”, but BBC Newsnight has been tracing the casualties as the unit battles through Ukraine.

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The regiment’s commanding officer – Col Sergei Sukharev – died in mid-March. His chief of staff and numerous other officers have also fallen.

The regiment previously served in the Balkans, Chechnya and the 2014 Russia invasion in the Donbas.

Tracking the unit through Ukraine, Newsnight’s diplomatic and defence editor Mark Urban looks at the outpouring of grief and anger from Russia in response to the devastating losses. What went wrong for the once-elite regiment? And what does its fate tell us about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?

This film was produced by Maria Jevstafjeva and Louis Harris-White.

#Newsnight #BBCNews #BBC

Newsnight is the BBC’s flagship news and current affairs TV programme – with analysis, debate, exclusives, and robust interviews.

Website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsnight
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BBCNewsnight
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bbcnewsnight

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44 Comments

44 Comments

  1. @valdemarovi4704

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    Россия вперед! Yankees go home! Your help caused many deaths of Ukrainians! Not only Ukrainians! Many mercenaries from your puppet countries have died. May they rest in peace.

  2. @NoName-gx8bm

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    Elite is russian for "not always drunk"

  3. @TheViva890

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    for the glory of russia long live……….

  4. @whymustyouignorereality

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    "The unit lost 1/3 of its strength only a couple weeks into the war" Paraphrasing, but holy shit! For a supposed elite unit, that is an astronomical number.

  5. @Ironmikeblood

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    Russia uses NAZI Methods and wants too ride the world of Nazi'isum 😂🎉🤣🫡🍺

  6. @truth-lg7xy

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    The world has seen up Russia's skirt and its laughable like their military 😂

  7. @SavivaldybiuLyga

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    It's sad that Sukharev died don't knowing that he is nazi

  8. @jarrettscherrer2189

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    Elite rapists and axis : that’s not our way.

  9. @TroPy1n

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    'Theirs is not reason why. Theirs is not to make reply. Theirs is but to do, and die"

  10. @rikaardyyz3039

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    They say 70% of this unit has been wiped out, so many they pulled what was left back home out of the war.
    They seem worse than an average western infantry unit.
    Red Devils or Screaming Eagles would eat them for lunch, it would be a light skirmish 😂🇺🇦🇺🇦

  11. @user-sl9pj4od2m

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    PutinA….. everything is going to plan…………. VDV gets 25,000 death notices 😎

  12. @user-sl9pj4od2m

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    Putin has sent thousands of men to their early graves, Putin’s good, he’s safe in his presidential estates

  13. @user-sl9pj4od2m

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    70% have been killed or severely wounded

  14. @charlesuri2830

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    They becomes in fertilizer😂😂🤣🤣🤣

  15. @PolishBehemoth

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    7:54 "ofcourse theyre lying. Our russian media says everything is going according to plan." – Russian woman responding to woman who is scared about russian dead in the war.
    Me: LOL🤣🤣🤣

  16. @PolishBehemoth

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    Lol. I had to pause at 0:30 mark. These people are acting all serious and remorseful for someone that was involved in bombing and invading someone elses land for no reason other than pleasing the whims of Putin. These people should be ashamed of themselves. I personally worked with a guy that in the humanitarian missions in kyiv and other parts of ukraine. He told me all about it. The russians are intentionally targeting medical and humanitarian vehicles. The russians are poisoning water supplies. The russians are using white phosphorus on entire villages and large areas. For those that dont know white phosphorus is a slow floating down gas like web like substance that burns people to death and cannot be put out like conventional fire. The russians are clearly comitting genocide.

  17. @user-tb8yx5nj2d

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    Watching this again a year on from the posting i wonder what the families of these soldiers think now.have they realised the truth and their military/government was actually lying to them and they still believe their family members were not killing inocent civilians children mother's fathers grandparents and so on.
    Maybe sooner the majority of Russian's find this out the sooner this horrific war will end.
    Much support for Ukraine from the UK.
    Never give up Ukraine ✌️…

  18. @BLAZEREN101

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    I’m assuming all the Russian invaders died in their failed Hostomel taking?

  19. @bernicecurtis7952

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    Hope he has a nice long life in Hades

  20. @bernicecurtis7952

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    They still can't tell the truth.

  21. @hangskins

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    Future without nazism yet they’re the ones invading lmao

  22. @homebrandrules

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    YEBUT u sad ruzzian orc

  23. @peter486

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    Picture a scenario where you've passed away, and someone stands before your memorial, spreading false claims about your actions like invading Ukraine infront of god, bombing homes, and pursuing Nazis. These Russians appear not only irrational but also deeply unsettling. It's becoming evident that russia as a nation needs to be deprogrammed and destryed to the core.

  24. @user-ss6zk7bj6y

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    Lox ebanui oykin

  25. @thomasmyers9128

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    He gave up his life for a lie….😳

  26. @user-de6vc3lw2x

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    In Russia they use elite for 100,000 soldier and or they just pass out those blue and white striped shirts……. You now elite lol 😂 😎

  27. @user-de6vc3lw2x

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    VDV has lost around 60% of fighting force due to 2 large transport planes full of VDV shot down in the battle for Hostumel
    Then they were part to the front ☠️

  28. @Am-vo5cu

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    Nato killers responsible for bloody scenes

  29. @samc1568

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    Elite Parade Marching Squad.

  30. @timbow614

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    Russian elite units are excellent at parading, but their military combat capabilities are downright subterranean.

  31. @estellemelodimitchell8259

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    Elite has a special meaning to the Russian. It may be elite to them, but to the rest of the world they’re just ordinary

  32. @zamamabuza7461

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    Now they are now elite fertilizers in ukraine.

  33. @alexandruzarea7019

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    Russia didn't have much elite units. None of those soldiers got optics on their weapon

  34. @azrai5063

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    An elite troops that beaten by the local territorial volunteers and reservist

  35. @cletusnigints-lo7rq

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    When you have elite forces in your team, you have to know that the other team also has the same type of determined elite forces.

  36. @j.4332

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    All those people looking like"we dont understand how he could be dead-he was always so fit".

  37. @Kalleri13

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    Looks like roofs of asbestos are very. very common. Such a dirty country

  38. @dancagilaba8837

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    May be elite in Russia but not in Ukraine

  39. @1k20a

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    Russias best of the best is equally like basic usa training lol

  40. @WilliamHunterII

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    Sergei gave up his life for the ambitions of a mad man. When will Russia understand that Putin is bad for them?

  41. @officialspock

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    These morons deserved it

  42. @williamwells1862

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    Belgorad houses Russian nuclear warheads. Putin is concerned. Watt if they are captured. That is so funny the Nuclear Threat falls on Puting. Such a joke. The Deterrent is and has been that Norway destroys Russia in 30 minutes with their Nukes. The dummies in the News media like to promote his threats. When you tell them this their mouths shut up. That is why Putin is not doing anything Nuclear. He knows his

  43. @lonniehhenson7925

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    Whis I had all that scrap metal

  44. @rolo8950

    January 24, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    Russia doesn't have a single elite unit lol. They never even had an elite unit before the war. All they did was lie their ass off while shimming corruption off the top. I wish we could take Russia over because it would probably crumble worse than Iraq in 2004 at this point.

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