A Russian media outlet on Tuesday reported on a recent attack on two Russian war veterans by fellow Russians in a small village in the Zabaykalsky Krai region that resulted in the hospitalization of one of the former soldiers.
The veteran, who lost a leg while fighting in Ukraine, was beaten by several people who screamed pro-Ukrainian messages at him, according to the Russian website Military Review. (Newsweek could not independently verify the details reported by the site.)
WarTranslated, an independent media project that translates materials about the war into English, posted on X (formerly Twitter) about the incident. Six young people—including two women—beat the man, “calling him a murderer and mocking him in all kinds of ways,” according to WarTranslated.
“Accusations of murdering children and other pro-Ukrainian heresy were used” by the attackers, according to Military Review’s account. The article added that another veteran, who had also lost a leg, unsuccessfully tried to intervene.
Local media in Russia have reported on other attacks on Russian veterans after they’ve returned home from the front lines. One of the more recent reports came from the state TV channel Tsargrad on Monday. The station said two veterans—one of whom was reportedly a former Wagner Group fighter—were stoned to death by a small group of local citizens in the Krasnodar region of Russia.
Newsweek reached out to the Russian Ministry of Defense via email for comment.
Military Review, which Media Bias/Fact Check has said promotes pro-Kremlin propaganda, wrote that the two Ukrainian war veterans in the Zabaykalsky Krai incident were having lunch at a café in the village of Nerchinsky Zavod when “they were approached by a group of drunken thugs.”
The outlet speculated that the alleged attackers may have been upset about medals the veterans were wearing that indicated they fought in Bakhmut and Soledar. The former soldiers took the argument outside the café but were “severely beaten,” and their medals were reportedly “torn off and thrown into the roadside dust.”
As a result, one of the veterans was taken to the hospital. The car belonging to the hospitalized veteran was reportedly damaged by the attackers.
Military Review reported that the injured veteran was visited in the hospital by Alexander Osipov, the governor of Zabaykalsky Krai. The website also said the veteran recorded a video message about the attack, which he called “a fiasco.”
A June poll showed support among the Russian public for the war in Ukraine has dropped significantly. Russian Field, a nonpartisan, Moscow-based research company that conducted the survey, found just 45 percent of respondents were in favor of continuing the war, a decrease of 9 points from a similar survey conducted in April 2022.