In the deserted surroundings of a locality close to the front line in the Bakhmout region of eastern Ukraine, a kneeling Ukrainian soldier stands ready to fire, his gloved finger on the trigger of his rifle by assault. “The Russians want to control this road”, assures its commander, who answers to the name of “Virus”, without taking his eyes off a residential street covered in snow.
For “Virus” and its “Witcher” unit, which have been deployed in the hotly contested region of Donetsk (east), Russian attacks have never abated over the past twelve months. “If you ask me, the situation hasn’t changed for our unit,” he confides, before melting into a thick fog, hoping to take advantage of it to locate enemy troops. “Some people talk about a new offensive, but the Russians attack every day,” he said.