Interview With A Ukrainian Volunteer Near Svatove
While the fighting for the city of Bakhmut has taken much of the headlines, the northern front near the city of Svatove has raged with Ukrainian forces pushing hard against dug-in Russian troops, some of which include experienced and hardened Russian marines and special operations forces.
A recent video from the pro-Kyiv Kraken special operations group shows a recent assault on the town of Novoselivske, Lugansk Oblast, eastern Ukraine. In the video, following the shelling of key points by mortars, the combined infantry and armor forces enter from the northwest of the village, seemingly under little resistance.
Aforementioned video from the Kraken "СПЕЦПІДРОЗДІЛ ГУР МОУ "KRAKEN" SPECIAL UNIT" on YouTube. NOTE: Contains graphic imagery.
The uncontested approach allows the Kraken commander to deploy his troops extremely close to the enemy positions, forgoing an offset infiltration for a direct assault on the Russian command post (CP). However, MikeReports was contacted by a foreign volunteer that served in this sector, sharing their experiences.
MikeReports sat down with a currently serving volunteer (identity withheld for OPSEC reasons) who has seen the fighting first hand and discussed the developing situation along the line.
MR: How would you describe the state affairs from your point of view?
- I can only speak for frontline personnel, food is good at best edible. We make due with what we have and it’s amazing. Locals help when they can and that's a blessing itself. Morale is high, and we make due with what transportation is available. Also depending on the occasion and use.
MR: Has the international support in equipment and finances made a visible effect on the operations tempo and preparedness on the front line?
- Yes! The help we receive for equipment and such is amazing! The armor we have has made assaults slightly less difficult. It's not easy, none of it is. But compared to the beginning, it's better. The international community has made fighting so much easier compared to the beginning. We thank everyone for such help. From equipment to arms to food, we now have things we didn't have since early march.
MR: Much of the Western media downplays the state of Russian troops. Is this what you’re seeing, or are they far more hardened than some perceive?
- The Russians are stubborn and dig in well. They do have numbers over us, but not spirit.
MR: Pro-Russian commentators have described the fighting as a “meat grinder” particularly in reference to irregular troops. What has been your experience when facing non-Russian Armed Forces troops?
- The fighting itself is a meat grinder. It's hard and never easy. Depending on the soldier that fights (conscript, wagner, marine, etc) will depend on the artillery support and volume of fire we receive.
Cover Photo Credit: Romanian army/Capt. Roxana Davidovits