Oleksandr’s unit successfully defended the city of Avdiivka against Russian attacks. But the price is high, he has lost almost all old soldiers and the replacement is hardly trained.

The real losses in the Ukraine war are the best-kept secret of both sides. They remain silent about their own deaths or give out absurdly low numbers, while those of the enemy are very high. The “Sky News” team went to the front with Ukrainian soldiers. That creates trust and they learned things that the PR department wouldn’t have let go. “Sky” spoke to the commander and a front-line medic of a unit of naval infantrymen near Avdiivka about the situation. The conversation is terrifying.

The Russians could not take the heavily fortified city in the Donbass. The front stops here, it has been running almost unchanged for over 100 days. On the other hand, the Russians are advancing further north. The commanding officer, Oleksandr, is visibly exhausted and exhausted before heading back to the front. He doesn’t sit around here, his unit has to practice constantly, he says. He has many dead and wounded and therefore new people are constantly coming. “And the new people are less well prepared.” So his unit can never rest, but then has to train. “As a rule, we always do target practice, tactical training, medicine, engineering practice.”

The Price of War

Several Russian attacks were repelled at Avdiivka. In a field, Oleksandr shows the remains of a Russian unit that was shot down by artillery there. The dead were provisionally buried. The smell of the corpses rises from the earth in summer. He couldn’t say how many Russians were lying there. “In this part there are about 40 people … and on the side where our artillery fired, about 150 to 200.”

Then comes the crucial question: “How many men have you lost since the war began?” “My unit was at 100 percent. It was made up of professional soldiers who had a lot of experience.” They considered each other “one big family”. He himself became commander when his superior was blown up by a mine. “Well, it’s 26 dead. I think 40 were injured, dozens of them seriously. That’s the way it is.” 80 percent of the old soldiers are gone. Seriously wounded or dead. When asked how long his unit can endure such losses, Oleksandr shakes his head. “What should I tell you about that? It’s tough, but we don’t have a choice.”

fatigue of the soldiers

Combat medic Iryna Tsybuh is pressing a bandage on an injured man’s wound in the back of a transport when Sky team hits her. In the past few days she has rescued 22 men, she says, two of whom have died. Some are very young. The youngest is just 22 years old. “I’m really exhausted. I need to sleep for weeks. Just sleep, Netflix and fast food.” She says that the best soldiers in the country have fallen. “Guys who know how to fight this war, how to win”. Now she treats the barely trained replacement. “I see the guys coming here. They’re not professionals. They don’t know what to do and they’re scared. But what choice do we have?”

Those: Sky News