Russian marines ‘MUTINY on warship and refuse to fight in Ukraine' fuelling hopes of anti-Putin unrest, reports claim
FURIOUS Russian marines have "mutinied" on Putin's warships and refused to attack a Ukrainian city, returning home to Russia instead, reports claim.
A fleet of warships was poised to land at the Ukrainian port city of Odesa and begin shelling when the Russian paratroopers frantically radioed their Ukrainian enemies, asking for permission to leave after ignoring their superiors' orders.
Ukrainian media claims a riot broke out on the warships, packed with Russian troops based in nearby Crimea.
At the same time, a number of Russian helicopters and drones were flying over Luzanivka Beach, preparing for landing.
The beach, just north of Odesa, was defended with mines and anti-tank hedgehogs.
But, just before an all-out amphibious assault, the Russians reportedly got in touch with the Ukrainians and asked them to allow them to leave the bay unharmed.
Retired Ukrainian diplomat Olexander Scherba, sharing the news on Twitter, wrote: "Last night a large group of Russian warships was about to launch landing on Odesa beaches.
"They approached the coast. Russia was about to shell the beach. Ukraine was about to shoot back when they suddenly withdrew.
"Reports that marines from Crimea refused to attack Odesa."
The mutinous Russian troops were marines from the 810th Brigade, according to Russian opposition politician Ilya Ponomarev, the only member of Russia's Duma to vote against the 2014 annexation of Crimea.
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He wrote on Facebook: "Ukrainian Air Force and other defenders of Odesa were preparing to give a decisive fight back to the opponent, but at the very last moment the Russians came in contact and asked to give them the opportunity to leave the Gulf.
"According to our data, there was a real rebellion on Russian ships; Russian men refused to follow the order and storm the coast of the Slavic Russian-language city."
Speaking directly to his country's armed forces, he added: "Russian soldiers, take an example from your comrades!"
Multiple unconfirmed reports in recent days claim Russian troops are leaving their posts in the face of a drawn-out war.
On Monday, footage appeared to show a Russian T-72B tank "abandoned with fuel and in fully working condition".
Around 5,700 Russian troops have been killed so far in the war, Ukraine claims, with 198 tanks, 29 aircraft, and 29 helicopters destroyed.
The Russian government has said it will pay the families of fallen Russian soldiers 11,000 Rubles (£81).
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