Ukrainian Soldiers Notice Firefights Among Russian Mercinaries
Residential areas near the frontline in the Luhansk region often come under fire from the Russian hybrid forces in the Donbas. Earlier this week the Novotohkivske area was hit by heavy artillery, grenade launchers, and heavy machine guns.
“The separatists are digging in. They are constantly moving – and preparing for winter. You can hear their chainsaws,” a Ukrainian soldier, Yehor, said.
Yehor is stationed in the Popasna area, at the very front of Ukraine’s line of defense. At his observation post, the soldier monitors the Russian-led troops, who in this area used the local spoil tips to dig in. Yehor observes the enemy soldiers, as they dig trenches and move equipment to reinforce their positions.
“You can hear the equipment — self-propelled artillery unit, infantry fighting vehicle. Sounds like a diesel one,” Yehor said.
Roman is in his fourth year at the front. At first, the former policeman joined the army as a driver-mechanic operating an infantry fighting vehicle. Now he’s Sergeant Major of the unit. He says, lately the Russian hybrid forces have been firing at areas under their own control.
“The enemy is now mostly having firefights among themselves. We don’t know why – but sometimes, they shoot at each other, and also at us using an automatic grenade launcher.
The day before yesterday around lunchtime, shots were heard from one side, from their territory. Then, they fired three times at us,” Roman said.
Roman’s wife urged him not to go to the front line.
“She said, ‘Don’t go, don’t go.’ But I said, ‘Who’s going to go defend this land?’ Someone needs to be there. Because if all the wives do the same and not let their husbands sign up to the army, then who will serve?” Roman said.
At the frontline the soldier found a rather unusual hobby: in his free time, he monitors news on Russian TV, to get to know the enemy better.
“They say that we’re all alcoholics here,” Roman said.
By watching the Russian news, Roman has learned how to distinguish factual news from fake news – which helps him and his unit better understand the situation around them