Special forces.

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By the way, the body of the third Marine hasn't been recovered by the Ukrainian side, and he is listed as MIA, but presumed dead.

Today during a lengthy search operation, the third victim was found and evacuated, the transfer of the body to the Ukrainian side is in the process.
 
Today during a lengthy search operation, the third victim was found and evacuated, the transfer of the body to the Ukrainian side is in the process.

Finally Ukrainian side released some footage taken from an UAV. Also, an American Sean Fuller, is alive and well and is not the 3rd Marine Killed an action.

It's a long news segment, about 7 minutes in Ukrainian. The interesting part is footage lasting a few seconds which shows wounded Ukrainian marine wearing white helmet cover fighting for his life. Mykola Illyn tried to get to him but tripped the anti-personnel explosive device and was killed. Once again, this doesn't absolve the command of the 35th Marines Brigade of their inaction and incompetence as the rescue and recovery mission should have been conducted under very heavy cover fire given the Russian side totally violated a local ceasefire arraigned by the OSCE observers.

The footage starts at 0:33 of the video:

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American national, reported KIA by “DNR” media, alive and well and fighting in Ukraine’s Marine Corps

We spoke with Sean, who said the following:

“Stop the propaganda and fake news stories. Bring back integrity into journalism… I am fighting for Ukrainian sovereignty against Russian imperialism and it is the duty of America because of the Budapest agreement.

I am also here to fight for Ukrainian freedom and against the oppression of communism that the “DNR” supports.”

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There are three things that make me skeptical about this story.
I looked at OSCE reports from 13th to 18th and there is no mention about any rescue mission with white helmets yet they had SMM UAV there every day.
Ukraine's story about the rescue mission has changed from original just like DNR story about Sean's death.
As for few seconds video it could've been staged given number of days elapsed from the event, it doesn't have date or place identifications.
I think I'll wait for more evidence from both sides before making any conclusions.
 
There are three things that make me skeptical about this story.
I looked at OSCE reports from 13th to 18th and there is no mention about any rescue mission with white helmets yet they had SMM UAV there every day.
Ukraine's story about the rescue mission has changed from original just like DNR story about Sean's death.
As for few seconds video it could've been staged given number of days elapsed from the event, it doesn't have date or place identifications.
I think I'll wait for more evidence from both sides before making any conclusions.

Ukrainian are very slow to present evidence (sovok mentality) plus are very skittish. Ain't no Mossad there. Russians lie through their teeth, but very good at fabricating. Like I've said don't give a sh*t about the Russians, but want Ukrainians to be more aggressive. Nothing going to change on the battlefield for the time being and maybe ever. As crazy as this may sound, this war might be won or end in some sort as the outcome of court battles.
Like I've said a million times over the years, just let it go. Cut all the ties with the territories. Declare them occupied and build the wall in literal and figurative meaning. Ukraine is a very poor country, keeping military engaged in the East is a heavy burden on the budget preventing meaningful reforms and re-equipment of the military.
 
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There are three things that make me skeptical about this story.
I looked at OSCE reports from 13th to 18th and there is no mention about any rescue mission with white helmets yet they had SMM UAV there every day.
Ukraine's story about the rescue mission has changed from original just like DNR story about Sean's death.
As for few seconds video it could've been staged given number of days elapsed from the event, it doesn't have date or place identifications.
I think I'll wait for more evidence from both sides before making any conclusions.

Geolocation based on the Ukraine video above.
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Is it due to lack of personnel or because of some other reason?

No clue. The Russian forces opposite them have gone through maybe 3 and 4 rotations already. Rotations are usually scheduled not months in advance, but years. My hunch is that perhaps the command doesn't have confidence that another brigade will be capable of holding the zero line in that location.
 
6 years ago, on July 21st, 2014 a recon force consisting of 33 special forces operatives and 8 naval commandos riding in armored trucks belonging to one of the Ukrainian banks liberated a city of Toretsk on its own and withstood counter attacks by the Russian garrison numbering 200 troops backed by armor until the Ukrainian armed forces and National Guard column rolled into town.

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On July 13th, 2020 after completing mission behind enemy lines a member of the Ukrainian recon team from the 35th Marines Brigade stepped on a anti-personnel mine and was killed by a shrapnel. This set off a chain of events that haven't played through even a few days later.

The Ukrainian officer killed by a mine was identified as Dmytro Krasnogrud. As a recon unit officer he was camera shy and only one photo of him has been released.

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A local ceasefire was arranged between all the sides and was monitored by OSCE observers. Ukrainian retrieval team wearing white helmet covers and vests with proper insignia went in to retrieve Dmytor's body. The team was ambushed and fired on by the Russian forces. A marine was injured and a combat medic rushed to his aid, but was cut down by machine gun fire.

The medic has been identified as an Estonian citizen, Mykola Illyn 36 years old and a native of Belarus.

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Back in 2006, Mykola / Nikolay took part in anti-Lukashenko protests was arrested and badly beaten by the Belarus authorities. He was granted an asylum in Estonia and lived there until 2018 when he moved to Ukraine, signed a contract with the Ukrainian Armed Forces, and became a combat medic in the 35th Marines Brigade.

According to the Estonian law, Estonian citizens are allowed to serve in the official units of the foreign militaries only with prior approval from the Estonian foreign ministry. According to the Estonia government, Mykola didn't have this approval or even applied for it. Mykola's salary in the Ukrainian armed forces was about $500 monthly.

Mykola didn't have a family of his own, according to his wishes he wanted to be cremated with the ashes spead over Ukraine, Belarus, and Estonia, but given all the legal complications even the final resting place hasn't been settled on.

The Ukrainian side hasn't released the name of the third Marine who bled to death in the no-mans land.

Even though, the Ukrainian version of events was accepted by the international authorities and the Russian side was condemned, there is a significant outcry from Ukrainian public as to why no retaliatory military measures were taken.

The Ukrainian president established a commission of inquiry and sent in Chief of Staff to investigate. This didn't sit well with the public either, especially since the president referred to the "responsible treacherous other side", but didn't name the said side.

Only on July 16th, 2020 in his speech to the parliament, the president elect Voldymir Zelensky has finally acknowledged that the Ukrainian state is fighting off Russian aggression and despite all of the election promises there is no end in sight to the war.

Mykola's funeral



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But he wanted people to remember him like that. Filmed shortly before he rushed onto a suicide mission.

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On July 21st, 2020 Ukraine lost another one of its heroes. Sailor Artem Koziy 1st Independent Marines Battalion was badly wounded by shrapnel. Although, he was promptly evacuated from the battlefield, and the surgical teams fought for 7 hours for his life, death one this round, and Artem passed away on the operating table. He was just 19 years of age.

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Another absolutely amazing amazing video from "Azov". I don't who who puts these videos for them, but, honestly, Hollywood should be calling. The composition is first class.

The Spirit of War

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Heavily armed Ukrainian National Guard patrol near the village of Zolote-4 where separation of opposing sides took place last year, and the Ukrainian Armed forces pulled back. Unfortunately, the area still comes under fire and the threat of infiltration of the Russian recon teams is high.

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Ukrainian Air Force during Sea Breeze 2020 exercise.

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