A reporter on the front line of the battle between Russia and Ukraine describes the fighting as “fierce”
Headlines about World War 3 may be under-describing just how dire the situation between Russia and Ukraine is now. It took only 36 hours for the ceasefire agreed to by world leaders to be violated, placing a Ukrainian base under heavy bombardment yet again.
Russia tensions further heightened
Askold Krushelnycky of the Daily Mail reports from the front line in Ukraine that the fighting there “was as fierce as I have ever known it.” Pro-Russia separatists bombed the Ukrainian base in Mariupol violently and ruthlessly, and the reporter states that it “seemed ludicrous” on the front line there that the two sides would come to a settlement any time soon.
He said the battle raged on the eastern edge of the city for a full day as tanks operated by the rebels tried to push forward. Officials with the Ukrainian 37th Mechanised Battalion reportedly told him that the pro-Russia separatists attacked the base 12 separate times. He also expected the bombardment to keep going all through the night.
Rebels bring up more armor
The officer also told him that their scouts saw the rebels bringing newer, more modern Russian tanks and armored carriers from Novoazovsk into Mariupol. He added that they must not be planning to stop firing anytime soon, or else they wouldn’t be bringing more equipment and personnel up to the front line.
The Ukrainian army responded to the rebels with their own fire using artillery and smaller groups of soldiers in an attempt to knock out the tanks. A soldier called the fighting “hellish,” adding that they were just managing to keep their positions. Additionally, he said Ukrainian civilians and soldiers have been injured and killed in the fighting.
Will the West back down?
In Europe, authorities are trying to dampen the conflict as the threat of war with Russia looms ominously overhead. The U.K. shipped 20 Saxon armored vehicles to Ukraine to help with the fight and plan to send 55 more. The ex-British army vehicles are personnel carriers, and morale among the Ukrainian soldiers was lifted with the arrival of the first vehicles. But more than just the vehicles themselves, the move by the U.K. represents the support of the West for the Ukrainian army.
The U.S. and Canada have also said they may supply weapons to the Ukrainian army if the rebels break the ceasefire. If that happens, Russia has said it would view the move as a threat to its security, further ratcheting up tensions between Moscow and the West.
Meanwhile Russia continues to deny supplying weapons to the separatists, but the West and NATO believe he is lying. Satellite photos reportedly showed tanks that are “Russian military, not separatist systems” being used along Russia’s border with Ukraine.