Exclusive Report from Front Line
The situation is tense at the front line, near the Ukrainian town of Maryinka
“They’re shooting. It’s like this all the time,” a soldier said as gunfire rang through the fortification,” a Ukrainian soldier named Andriy said.
“They’re having a firing exercise. We exercise at a shooting range, while they’re training on us,” he said.
The military said, the enemy has just got reinforcements from a new unit – a brigade called Prizrak, which is Russian for “Wraith.” This unit has been involved in the fighting since 2014.
“These people were involved in the storming of different facilities and towns. They are well-trained. Their level of preparation is superior to other soldiers they have. They went through additional training in Russia,” Andriy said.
In this frontline area, Russian hybrid forces tend to rely on assault rifles and machine guns. After several bursts, the enemy fire stops for a few minutes. It allows Ukrainian soldiers to reload their weapons and fire back.
As night falls, the intensity of fighting stays the same. The Russian-led troops attack from several different directions.
Trench warfare has its own peculiarities. During return fire, the enemy will try to spot the firing positions of the Ukrainian military. This forces the soldiers to regularly move from place to place every time they fire in response.
When everything goes quiet, we can finally step outside. But then – a distant clap.
“Sounds like a VOG… The under-barrel grenade launcher,” a soldier said.
A similar grenade is sent the other way.
At dawn, the firing gives way to the singing of birds. The rising sun reveals abandoned apartment blocks riddled with bullet holes, and bright red poppies – the symbol of the lives lost in wars.