Russia’s 331st Guards Parachute Regiment is considered “the best of the best”, but BBC Newsnight has been tracing the casualties as the unit battles through Ukraine.
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The regiment’s commanding officer – Col Sergei Sukharev – died in mid-March. His chief of staff and numerous other officers have also fallen.
The regiment previously served in the Balkans, Chechnya and the 2014 Russia invasion in the Donbas.
Tracking the unit through Ukraine, Newsnight’s diplomatic and defence editor Mark Urban looks at the outpouring of grief and anger from Russia in response to the devastating losses. What went wrong for the once-elite regiment? And what does its fate tell us about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?
This film was produced by Maria Jevstafjeva and Louis Harris-White.
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Newsnight is the BBC’s flagship news and current affairs TV programme – with analysis, debate, exclusives, and robust interviews.