‘Little by little’: Ukraine grinds away on the northeastern front


After nine months in the field, the unit’s Soviet-era hardware reflects the greater dynamics at play in the war – one tank was provided by the Ukrainian military, another was taken from the Russians, and a third donated by Poland.

The ammunition required to fight is supplied in part by Russian stocks captured on the battlefield.

“It’s the Russian lend-lease act,” jokes another member of the team who goes by the call sign Agronome, in reference to a United States deal to supply weapons to Ukraine.

The tank platoon’s fight is part of a larger push by the Ukrainian military in the northeast that is hoping to capture a key highway supplying the Russian occupied cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk.

The two cities were captured by Russian forces following a brutal summer campaign in Donbas, with both sides believed to have lost large numbers of troops.

“DON’T FEEL THE COLD”

The loss of the cities would add only further humiliation and stymie Russian President Vladimir Putin’s stated goals of capturing the Donbas region, after suffering repeated setbacks triggered by Ukrainian thrusts in both the northeast and the south in Kherson.

“On this part of the frontline we are in charge of holding our position and sometimes launching counter-offensives,” says Roman, a member of the overall tank battalion operating in the area.

“The situation is completely under control and we are ready for new and sometimes unexpected challenges.”

Analysts predict that the tempo of fighting may surge again soon as colder conditions allow for fresh assaults along the frontline.

“Temperatures are forecast to drop across Ukraine over the next week, which will likely freeze the ground and expedite the pace of fighting as mobility increases for both sides,” according to a recent assessment by US-based think tank The Institute for the Study of War.

As for the fighters on the ground, the dropping temperatures matter little when compared to Russia’s artillery barrages.

“When we know we can get hit at any moment, the adrenaline keeps us warm,” says Patriot. “We don’t feel the cold.”


Source : https://www.channelnewsasia.com/world/urkaine-kharkiv-soldiers-military-fighting-3103986

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