After numerous reports about the poor morale of Russian troops, Ukrainian forces in the Donbass are now complaining about insufficient supplies and weapons. As the Washington Post reports, the mood among some Ukrainian units is so bad that they are deserting.
The Russian military is said to be so overpowering in the current main battlefield of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine around Sievjerodonetsk that the Ukrainians could do without counter-offensives there. Because, as one commander put it: “The Russians already know where we are. And if a Ukrainian tank fires from outside, they also know its position afterwards.”
One problem is that many of the Ukrainian soldiers in the Luhansk region are not fully trained but volunteered before the war. One such soldier, The Washington Post reports, was sent to the contested area in Donbass to assist in the third line of defense there. When he arrived on site, he is said to have found himself at the forefront.
The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently emphasized that the situation in the east of the country is difficult. He also explained that around 100 soldiers are currently being killed there every day. “And a few hundred people – 450, 500 people – are injured every day,” said Zelenskyy.
The Ukrainian troops also complain about insufficient medical care on the front line. If you believe the soldiers who report to the Washington Post, some deaths could be prevented. For example, there are no vehicles to take the injured to hospitals.
Russia even reports that 360 Ukrainian soldiers were killed on Friday night alone. This number, like the Ukrainian one, cannot be verified. 49 weapon systems and military vehicles were said to have been destroyed by air, missile and artillery attacks, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Friday.
Even Serhiy Gaidai, the governor of the Luhansk region, admitted that many volunteer fighters from Ukraine were not well enough prepared. However, he told the Washington Post: “They have enough medical supplies and food. The only problem is that they are not ready to fight.”
The Ukrainian soldiers would still be able to defend Sieverodonetsk and maintain their positions, Gaidai said. However, he also admitted: “As for the current situation in Sieverodonetsk, I regret to say that the Russian army managed to penetrate deep into the city. She controls most of the city.”
The question is: how much longer can Ukrainian troops maintain the defense lines? After all, not a few soldiers were the last to desert.
On May 24, troops uploaded a video to Telegram saying they will no longer fight because they lack adequate weapons, support and leadership to counter the Russian attacks. “We have been sent to certain death,” said one soldier, surrounded by his colleagues. “And we are not alone with this view, we are many.”
However, the desertions of the Ukrainians and the superiority of the Russians in the Luhansk region do not seem to point the way. At least that’s what military expert Carlo Masala believes: The Russians are currently “pulling together overwhelming forces to conquer small pieces. They are relatively successful there, ”said Masala in the Tagesspiegel interview. “But it wouldn’t make any sense for Ukraine to throw itself into every battle there either,” he explained.
He advised not to overestimate the successes of the Russians at the moment. Because: “They have significant problems, they also have big losses, just like the Ukrainians. And they have considerable problems taking larger cities.” It is not possible to put a figure on how many Russian soldiers have already died. However, these are likely to be in the tens of thousands.