Ukraine: Thermite munitions rain on town of Vuhledar
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Ukrainian soldiers have warned that the Russians can “taste victory” in a Bakhmut as many of Kyiv’s men are “just getting killed”. Both sides have been fighting for control of Bakhmut – a city in eastern Ukraine in the Donetsk region – for months. While only a small city, Vladimir Putin’s men are determined to take it in the hope they can deal further blows to the Ukrainian defence.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelsnky has said his troops will defend the city, but those on the ground are raising concerns.
Speaking to the Kyiv Independent, a soldier named Volodymyr said: “When they drive us to Bakhmut, I already know I’m being sent to death.”
He added: “(The Russians) keep firing at us, but we don’t have artillery – so we have nothing to attack them back with.
“I don’t know if I will return or not. We are just getting killed.”
Another Ukrainian soldier, Vladyslav, described how Russia was attacking five soldiers at a time.
However, he said the Russians seemed “scared” to attack at close range.
Another Ukrainian infantryman by the name of Valeriy said most of his fellow soldiers had been killed by projectiles rather than direct combat with enemy soldiers.
He explained: “It’s a pity that probably 90 percent of our losses are from artillery – or tanks and aviation.”
“The Russians have so many weapons, and there are so many of them. They are firing at us all the time. Sometimes, you hear an incoming every second.”
While Ukrainians on the ground continue to grapple with the realities of war, Western intelligence does give some cause for optimism.
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NATO intelligence says that at least five Russian soldiers were killed for every Ukrainian loss, according to CNN.
It has been reported that Russia is throwing a lot of men from the Wagner Group into the firing line to try and overwhelm Ukrainian forces.
Wagner is a private mercenary group led by Putin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin. Last year he was seen recruiting prisoners to fight in the war.
However, he recently released a statement saying Wagner will no longer recruit convicts.
But, reports this week suggest Russia has sent its first female convicts to join the fighting in Ukraine.
This claim was made by the Ukrainian military and backed up by the head of a Russian human rights group.
Ukraine general staff said: “Last week a train carrying inmates was spotted heading to the Donetsk region. One of the carriages held female convicts.”
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