Amid reports of low morale and high casualty numbers in Ukraine’s Donbas, BBC Newsnight revisits Russia’s 331st Guards Parachute Regiment, considered “the best of the best.”
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The Donbas has become a battle of attrition with high casualties on both sides, BBC Newsnight charts the impact of the war on the Russian side from the 331st regiment’s home in Kostroma to the evolution of symbols painted on their tanks.
In April, we confirmed 39 soldiers had been killed but now BBC Newsnight estimates the total number of casualties to be between 400-500, almost half of the regiment’s strength from the beginning of the war.
Newsnight’s Diplomatic Editor Mark Urban analyses official and social Russian media to continue the story of the elite unit who are still trapped in a conflict that’s claiming more and more lives.
This film was produced by Louis Harris-White and Maria Jevstafjeva.
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Newsnight is the BBC’s flagship news and current affairs TV programme – with analysis, debate, exclusives, and robust interviews.