Status: 22/09/2023, 04:54 a.m.
By: Momir Takac
It is not uncommon for soldiers to pay for their service at the front with their lives. A Ukrainian commander describes how brutal the Ukraine war is.
Munich - The reconquest of the Crimean peninsula annexed by Russia remains the top priority of the Ukrainian armed forces in the Ukraine war. After the counteroffensive launched at the beginning of June was initially sluggish, Kiev has recently reported successes on two fronts.
A soldier describes how Ukrainian troops broke through a Russian defensive line. (Archive image) © IMAGO/Ashley Chan
Even a general of Vladimir Putin's troops was taken with the Ukrainian fighters. But even at the beginning there were isolated successes. Now a commander has spoken in detail about a breakthrough of the Russian defense on the front line south of Velyka Novosilka in the Donetsk region. "We planned the offensive, went in, crushed two Russian brigades and crushed them until they had recalled all the reservists," Anatoliy told RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty.
Ukraine soldier describes breakthrough against Putin's troops
The 34-year-old commands the 37th Marine Brigade. At that time, four brigades were involved in the liberation of several settlements along the Mokri Jaly River, all of which were trained by NATO. Anatoliy's battalion at that time used exclusively Western military equipment, including French AMX-10 RC armored fighting vehicles and mine-resistant American Oshkosh M-ATVs.
The commander describes the danger his men had put themselves in. Initially, they drove vehicles into Russia's defenses and fired until the enemy was "stunned". Subsequently, marines entered the area on foot and stormed the enemy trenches. There they engaged in a risky hand-to-hand combat.
"It's not a nice feeling": Ukrainian soldier describes situation at the front
"You walk towards the enemy line with mines under your feet and fire from three directions – it's not a nice feeling," Anatoliy said. Huge minefields are the reason why the Ukrainian counteroffensive is progressing slowly. The 34-year-old showed the reporter the headquarters, which was deep underground. From there, the missions would be planned. Dozens of monitors show true-to-scale battlefield maps, and aerial photographs taken by drones hang on the improvised wooden walls.
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They want to get as far as the Sea of Azov, says Anatoliy. The aim is to cut through the strip of occupied territory, which stretches from the Russian border to Crimea, and thus cut off Russia's supply of ammunition and fuel. Most recently, Ukraine came a little closer to the goal. Troops succeeded in making an important advance in Robotyne, for example. But there is still a long way to go. "We will continue until I light a cigarette in a hammock on the shores of the Sea of Azov," Anatoliy said. (mt)