A Ukrainian soldier fighting in the east said the Russians have key advantages over their forces.
He told CNN tanks are scary because you don’t always hear them the way you might with an aircraft.
Ukraine’s military is scrambling to work as efficiently as it can with limited ammunition.
Russia’s military has been relentless on the battlefield in eastern Ukraine. One front-line soldier said that enemy tanks are, at least for him, particularly unnerving.
The Russians, “they shoot direct fire. Planes are flying over. Basically, they have it all,” Dmytro, a Ukrainian National Guard soldier in the Bureviy Brigade, said during a CNN interview, sharing a personal view from the front.
“But probably the worst are tanks,” he said. “When they fire, you don’t even hear it. You hear an airplane when it comes over. With a tank, you’re in God’s hands.” Artillery is also a serious threat, but tanks do come with a certain shock value.
Ukraine has inflicted severe losses on the Russian armor force, some 2,600 main battle tanks since the start of the war and several hundred in just the past few months, according to the British defense ministry, but the Russian military continues to field replacements.
The Ukrainian military, on the other hand, has been struggling with weapon and ammunition shortages lately, especially as crucial support from the US remains hung up in Congress.
“It’s no secret we’re starved of artillery shells,” a drone pilot, Nazariy, told CNN. “We try to work as efficiently and accurately as possible in order to hit the enemy’s fire power.”
In some sectors, Russia’s attacks have intensified over the past few days, according to Ukrainian officials, who say troops may see as many as 50 “combat clashes” a day.
“The situation is very active and very tense,” Dmytro said in his interview with CNN, adding, “The enemy has much more equipment and manpower. Basically, every day, they try to storm their positions.”
The Russian military has ramped up its industrial capacity, as well as its recruitment. Recent reports indicate that in addition to replacing troops lost in battle, it is thought to be able to produce about 100 tanks per month.
Ukraine has not received a new security aid package from the US in about a month now, and the Pentagon has said the US does not have the capacity to repair the weapons that it had sent to Ukraine.
“We will continue to work closely with Congress and urge supplemental funding as soon as possible,” Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Patrick Ryder said in a briefing on Jan. 23.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said at a media event on Jan. 16 at which Business Insider was present that he fears the lack of Western support will result in “a lot of killing and a lot of injured people.
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