Zelensky, you are outnumbered; Russians are ruthless and don't regret "cannon fodder"

Two days before the second anniversary of the war in Ukraine, the situation is gloomy - soldiers, ammunition running out, conditions on battlefield disastrous.

Izvor: index.hr

Thursday, 22.02.2024.

09:45

Zelensky, you are outnumbered; Russians are ruthless and don't regret
Tanjug/AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky, File

Zelensky, you are outnumbered; Russians are ruthless and don't regret "cannon fodder"

The infantry of the 59th brigade of the Ukrainian army is facing a harsh reality, and one of the commanders of that brigade, called Tigar, estimates that only 60 to 70 percent, of the several thousand men in the brigade at the beginning of the conflict, are still in service. The rest were killed, wounded or discharged due to old age or illness.

The heavy casualties inflicted on them by Russian forces are compounded by disastrous conditions on the eastern front, where frozen ground turns into thick mud in unseasonably warm weather causing health problems for soldiers.

"The weather conditions come down to rain, snow, rain, snow. People get flu or angina because of that. They are out of action for a while and there is no one to replace them," said a company commander in the 59th brigade called Limousin.

A spokesman for the 3rd Special Assault Brigade, one of the units trying to defend Avdiivka, said that the Ukrainians were outnumbered seven to one.

Reuters said it spoke to more than 200 soldiers and commanders of infantry, drone and artillery units in various sectors of the thousand-kilometer front in eastern and southern Ukraine, who spoke to a bigger and better-equipped enemy as military aid from the West has been slow to arrive, despite pleas addressed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Another commander of the 59th Brigade, who said his name was Grigoriy, described the relentless attacks by the Russians, five to seven Russian soldiers each, who would charge up to ten times a day as "cannon fodder", costing the Russians dearly in terms of people, but it is also a great threat to Ukrainian soldiers.

"When one or two defensive positions fight such attacks all day, the guys get tired," Grigoriy said as he and his exhausted men were on a short frontline rotation near Russian-held Donetsk.

"Weapons break down and if there's no way to deliver more ammunition or replace it, then you realize where it's going," he added. Kyiv relies on money and equipment from abroad to wage war, but with US$61 billion in aid blocked due to political disagreements in Washington, Ukraine is more vulnerable than ever. Also, the EU admits that they will not achieve the goal of sending a million grenades to Ukraine by March, and that by almost half.

Michael Kofman, an expert on the Russian military at the Carnegie Center, a think tank in Washington, estimated that Russian artillery fires five times more shells than Ukrainian artillery, which, Reuters writes, was also confirmed by soldiers from the 59th Brigade.

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