All the equipment in the world can’t stop Putin’s frontline looking like WWI trenches

All the equipment in the world can’t stop Putin’s frontline looking like WWI trenches

Anton Gerashchenko @Gerashchenko_en ? 4h Instead of a thousand words. Glory to Ukrainian Defenders! : 118th Separate Mechanized Brigade
Ukraine’s army has been running out of ammunitions (Picture: 118th Separate Mechanized Brigade)

Ukraine’s frontline is becoming more and more merciless as Putin’s war drags on into its second winter – and Western aid dries up.

Videos circulating on social media show the brutal conditions endured by Ukrainian soldiers manoeuvring trench systems as they fight to stave off relentless artillery fire.

Layers of ice and snow coat the muddy ground, making movement on foot agonising and hampering the already dwindling morale amongst Zelensky’s troops.

Footage of uniformed men shoveling mud and rainwater are soberingly reminiscent of scenes from World War I.

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DONETSK OBLAST, UKRAINE - DECEMBER 01: A Ukrainian soldier is placed in trenches retaken from the Russian army on the Vuhledar front line as the war between Russia and Ukraine continues in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on December 01, 2023. The second line of defense of the Ukrainian army near the city of Vuhledar is held by the 58th Motorized Brigade. (Photo by Marek M. Berezowski/Anadolu via Getty Images)
A Ukrainian soldier is placed in trenches retaken from the Russian army on the Vuhledar frontline on December 1, 2023 (Picture: Getty)

Even tanks and armoured military vehicles struggle to pass through the sludge, making meaningful breakthroughs on the frontline next to impossible.

The clips were shared on X by advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Anton Gerashchenko, who wrote: ‘Weather on the frontlines. Our defenders fight for us in very challenging conditions.’

It comes as the Russian military has made a series of battefield gains in recent weeks amid a combination of artillery ammunition shortages and delays in the provision of weapons to Ukraine from Western allies.

The Institute for the Study of War confirmed advances north-east of Kubyansk, north of Bakhmut and south-west of Avdiivka.

DONETSK OBLAST, UKRAINE - DECEMBER 01: A view from a freshly dug Ukrainian trench as Russian attacks on the city of Vuhledar continue in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on December 01, 2023. (Photo by Andre Alves/Anadolu via Getty Images)
A view from a freshly dug Ukrainian trench in Donetsk Oblast (Picture: Getty)
DONETSK OBLAST, UKRAINE - DECEMBER 01: A view of the trenches retaken from the Russian army on the Vuhledar front line where Ukrainian troops are deployed as the war between Russia and Ukraine continues in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on December 01, 2023. The second line of defense of the Ukrainian army near the city of Vuhledar is held by the 58th Motorized Brigade. (Photo by Marek M. Berezowski/Anadolu via Getty Images)
The second line of defense of the Ukrainian army near the city of Vuhledar is held by the 58th Motorized Brigade (Picture: Getty)
Ukrainian servicemen of the 42nd Mechanised Brigade dig trenches during a field military exercise in the Donetsk region on December 6, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by Genya SAVILOV / AFP) (Photo by GENYA SAVILOV/AFP via Getty Images)
Ukrainian servicemen of the 42nd Mechanised Brigade dig trenches during a field military exercise in the Donetsk region on December 6, 2023 (Picture: AFP)

As a result, Ukraine has rolled out anti-tank defences known as dragon’s teeth along the frontline as it adopts a ‘more defensive posture’.

In its latest defence intelligence briefing, the UK Ministry of Defence revealed the army had heeded calls from Volodymyr Zelensky back in November for ‘faster fortifications in key sectors’.

It said: ‘In one part of the project, Ukraine has worked to improve defences along its border with Belarus with dragon’s teeth, razor wire and anti-tank ditches as of mid-December 2023.

‘A major Russian breakthrough is unlikely and overall, the front is characterised by stasis.’

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The MoD added that a major Russian breakthrough is ‘unlikely’ and that overall, the front is characterised by stasis.



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Ukrainian Tavriisk Group of Forces commander Oleksandr Tarnavskyi said earlier this week that Ukrainian forces have shortages of 122mm and 152mm shells along the entire frontline.

This has forced the army to redistribute artillery ammunition and re-plan military tasks, he added.

Quoting Ukrainian and Western officials, the commander revealed that the enemy is currently conducting artillery fire at a rate ‘five to seven times greater’ than the Ukrainian forces.

Both Russia and Ukraine have likely expended portions of their Soviet-era stocks of 122mm and 152mm artillery shells, forcing both to look abroad to source more.

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