A soldier's sobering letter: Hell; The Russians knew exactly

A front-line soldier has given a sobering account of Ukraine's struggle to maintain its foothold on the east bank of the Dnieper River.

Source: B92
Tanjug/AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka
Tanjug/AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

As the BBC reports, several hundred Ukrainian soldiers have been sent to that part of Ukraine as part of a counter-offensive launched six months ago.

Under relentless Russian fire, that soldier spent several weeks on the Russian-occupied side of the river as Ukraine tried to establish a bridgehead around the village of Krink.

The BBC, which reported his words, did not want to reveal his identity in order to protect him. As they say, they communicated with him through the WhatsApp application. On that occasion, the soldier revealed to them that inexperienced soldiers had been sent against the Russians, who had the feeling that their commanders had abandoned them.

"The entire river crossing is under constant fire. I have seen boats with my shipmates on board simply disappear into the water after being hit, lost forever in the Dnieper. We have to carry everything with us - aggregates, fuel and food. When you install a bridgehead, you need a lot of everything, but there was no planned supply for this area," said the soldier.

"We thought that the enemy would flee after we arrived and that we would then peacefully transport everything we needed, but it was not like that," he added.

"When we arrived at the shore, the enemy was waiting. The Russians we managed to catch said their forces had been tipped off about our landing, so when we got there, they knew exactly where to find us. They threw everything at us - artillery, mortars and a flamethrower system. I thought I would never get out of there alive," he then continued his confession.

However, according to him, several hundred marines managed to dig in, partly with the help of Ukrainian artillery fire from the higher, western banks of the Dnieper, which separates the Russian-occupied and Ukrainian-controlled parts of the southern Kherson region.

The Ukrainian General Staff reported in its daily update on Sunday that Ukrainian forces are maintaining their positions on the eastern bank of the Dnieper and are carrying out "strikes in the rear of the enemy". This soldier's testimony, however, reveals divisions between the Ukrainian government and its generals over martial law.

Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief General Valery Zaluzhny told the Economist magazine in November that the situation is such that "just like in the First World War, a level of technology has been reached that leads to a dead end." President Zelenskiy's office quickly reprimanded the general for his comments, denying that there was a stalemate on the battlefield.

"Every day we sat in the forest and shot. We were trapped - the roads and paths were riddled with mines. The Russians can't control everything, and we're taking advantage of that. But their drones are constantly buzzing in the air, ready to strike as soon as they see movement", said that soldier.

"The supply was the weakest link. The Russians were monitoring our supply lines, so it became more difficult – there was a real shortage of drinking water, despite our boat and drone deliveries. We paid for a lot of our own kit – we bought our own generators, warm clothes… Now the frosts are coming, things are only going to get worse. The real situation is being covered up, so no one will change anything," said the Ukrainian soldier.

"Nobody knows the goals. Many believe that the command has simply abandoned us. The boys believe that our presence had more political than military significance. But we just did our job and didn't get into the strategy," said that soldier. He also says that most of his unit's losses were their fault, "someone didn't climb into that trench fast enough, others hid poorly. If someone is not secluded, they will immediately be targeted from everywhere".

"But thanks to our doctors, if we manage to get the injured soldier to the medic - he will be saved. They are titans, gods. But we cannot retrieve the remains of the victims. It's just too dangerous. At the same time, our drones and missiles inflict heavy losses on the enemy. Once we took prisoners of war, but where should we put them, if we have no way to cross the river even with our injured comrades," testified a Ukrainian soldier.


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