REPORTING. “We are not advancing, neither are they!” : Ukrainian soldiers of the 35th Infantry Brigade face “Russian assaults” on the Eastern Front

The unit is installed north of the town of Avdiivka, almost face-to-face with the Russians. “We are not advancing, neither are theyexplains, Wednesday July 12, Maksim, soldier of the 35th infantry brigade. At the moment the situation is stable, but in recent days they have intensified their attacks with more and more assaults.” The great counter-offensive promised by kyiv may have started more than five weeks ago, but the advances of the Ukrainian troops are thin, slow. The war settles permanently on the Eastern front.

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Drone and jamming system

On the Ukrainian side, each strike begins with the dispatch of a reconnaissance drone. Igor, very concentrated above his remote control, directs the machine. “The drone is about two miles from here. I could go further, but they’re using a jamming system.” The soldier shows a point on the device: “Here are the enemy trenches”.

Maksim and Andreï with the control tablet of their drone.  (GILLES GALLINARO / RADIO FRANCE)

This drone transmits the GPS coordinates of the target. Then simply load a shell into the mortar tube and fire. “We show up so that they don’t forget us!” Then you have to wait for the enemy’s response. The shell arrives, but, by chance, it falls several hundred meters away.

A soldier from the 35th Naval Infantry Brigade prepares to launch an intelligence drone towards enemy lines;  (ISABELLE LABEYRIE / RADIO FRANCE)

“Very old” hardware in some units

In the neighboring unit, the mortar is more rudimentary. The soldiers even say with a laugh that it dates back to the Second World War. “It’s true that it is very old, we had to weld the viewfinder because it was constantly going out of adjustment.”

Ukrainian mortar fire at Russian positions near Avdiivka.  (GILLES GALLINARO / RADIO FRANCE)

For more than a year they have been tinkering on this front line, without ever really seeing it progress, the soldiers sometimes have a few drops in morale. But the one who calls himself Barça, like the football club, refuses to give up. “We can’t get enough of it. Do you know why? Because we want to win. We will never get tired of it. You know that behind you there is your family, Ukraine, which is your native land.

“There are so many guys who are dead, there’s no going back.”

Barça, soldier of the 35th infantry brigade

at BlazeTrends

Units of the 35th Infantry Brigade cannot fire more than twenty shells per day and count on the sending of additional ammunition from the West.

Ukrainian soldiers of the 35th Infantry Brigade face “Russian assaults” on the Eastern Front


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