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Report: Russian Marines Mutiny When Ordered to Attack Ukrainian Beach, Assault Canceled

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Reports in Ukrainian media suggest that a Russian attempt to land troops near the coastal city of Odessa ended in failure, with Russian marines refusing to attack in an act of mutiny.

The Ukrainian newspaper Dumskaya claims to have contacted parents of Russian marines assigned to the 810th Naval Infantry Brigade whose sons told them that they refused to assault the Bay of Odessa.

The Russian troops, reportedly conscripts, were afraid to fight Ukrainian forces, many of whom are experienced in warfare from Ukraine’s years of armed strife in the Donbas region, the newspaper said.

Ukraine’s former ambassador to Austria, Olexander Scherba, indicated that a Russian naval landing at Odessa was aborted in unclear circumstances on Monday night.

“Last night a large group of RU warships was about to launch landing on Odesa beaches,” he tweeted. “They approached the coast. RU was about to shell the beach. UA was about to shoot back, when they suddenly withdrew. Reports that marines from Crimea refused to attack Odesa.”

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Dumskaya reported that a “riot” broke out on board the Russian warships off the coast of Odessa as Ukrainian troops were preparing to defend the population center against an amphibious assault.

Russian helicopters and aircraft appeared in numbers above Luzanivka Beach, with the Black Sea city’s defenders bracing for an all-out attack.

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The Russian fleet is said to have contacted the Ukrainian defenders of Odessa informing them that the attack on the city had been canceled, according to the report.

The Ukrainians believed that the invasion fleet was primed to begin a bombardment of Odessa’s beaches, which reportedly had been filled with anti-tank mines, obstacles and traps for the unwelcome guests.

The Russians reportedly asked for safe passage to leave the Bay of Odessa. Ukrainian forces permitted the fleet to leave the vicinity of the city.

The only former member of the Russian State Duma to vote against the 2014 annexation of Crimea encouraged other Russian troops to follow in the reported manner of the Odessa mutineers.

Ilya Ponomarev addressed Dumskaya’s report in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

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Scherba has claimed that 5,710 Russian troops have been killed or wounded, with Russia losing nearly 200 tanks and dozens of aircraft.

Precise casualty counts are difficult to verify in the fog of war, with Eric Schmitt of The New York Times quoting a U.S. official’s estimation that Russia has incurred 2,000 casualties.

Schmitt said in his Tuesday tweet that for Russian President Vladimir Putin, “the rising death toll could damage any remaining domestic support for his invasion of Ukraine.”

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