Released by the Freedom of Russia Legion, the video depicts armed fighting in the forest in Ukraine. The two sides, formerly of the same army, exchange gunfire, seen from the soldiers’ point of view. The camera points towards the butt of the gun as the defector fires intermittently at the other Russians. A nearby grenade or missile then sends him to the ground before he recovers and starts firing again.
The Freedom of Russia Legion is a group of Russian defectors and a growing movement in Ukraine, as well as in Putin’s homeland. Applications for the squad are apparently “off the scale”.
It is made up of Russian military personnel disguised as part of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
They fight with the letter ‘L’ emblazoned on their uniform instead of the infamous Russian ‘Z’.
Similarly, while Putin’s slogan for his forces is “For Russia, for victory”, the Legion’s slogan is “For Russia, for freedom”. They also use a white and blue flag.
Aleksey Arestovich, who is the adviser to the head of the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenky’s office and a military blogger, said, as of last month, there were “several dozen” members of the defective group.
Speaking to Ukrainian reporters, he said: “On the front line. They are fighting very well.
“There are several dozen, it’s like a separate unit disguised as the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
“The number of applications to the legion, including the Russian army, is off the scale. They don’t have time to consider it. I see how the legion is marching across Russia.
READ MORE: Ukraine launch ‘Book of Executioners’ amid war crimes [REVEAL]
“Because they send me dozens of pictures every day, where they once again drew the letter ‘L’, once again with the legion’s name, and so on, there is its own music, its own subculture.”
Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces continue to successfully hold out against the assault on Severodonetsk towards the north of the Luhansk region, general staff said today.
The city remains one of the last standing territories in the area not entirely under Russian control, and Ukrainian forces launched a counter-offensive over the weekend that shifted the momentum.
Russian troops have allegedly been bringing in new resources towards Donbas in an intense battle for control of the eastern region.
‘Hard to avoid!’ World Bank warns ‘MAJOR recession’ looming [REVEAL]
Horror as dolphins suffer ‘severe casualties’ in Ukraine war [REPORT]
Bodies of Ukrainian Azovstal fighters arrive home in Kyiv [REPORT]
The days-long battle for the industrial city has emerged as pivotal, with Russia focusing its offensive might in the hope of achieving one of its stated aims – to fully capture the surrounding Luhansk province on behalf of Russian-speaking separatists.
But Mr Zelensky, in his nightly address yesterday, hailed the defence of the Donbas as “heroic” after Ukraine appeared to regain ground.
He said: “The absolutely heroic defence of Donbas is ongoing,” before adding that Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, and Popasna, remain the most difficult places.
He said: “It is absolutely felt that the occupiers didn’t believe the resistance of our military would be so strong and now they are trying to bring in new resources towards the Donbas.”