Incredible footage shows close combat trench fighting in Ukraine

Incredible close combat video shows Russian soldiers hurling grenades in attempt to storm trenches – before they are gunned down in no-mans-land during Ukrainian fightback

  • Frontline footage shows intense trench warfare on the ‘last road out of Bakhmut’
  • Forces remain held around the city after nearly nine months of gritty fighting 

New footage from Ukraine’s frontline shows intense fighting between Russian forces and entrenched defenders in the contested ‘last road out of Bakhmut’.

The clip shows the “Da Vinci Wolves” Ukrainian volunteer corps suppressing Russian forces trying to cross no-mans-land and assault a fortified position.

Ukrainian forces are seen to recover quickly from a grenade explosion at the opening of the dug out, assessing injuries and reporting that ‘orcs jumped into our trenches’.

With little cover, they emerge to suppress the advancing Russians, taking positions around the bunker and gunning down targets as they crawl away.

After months of intense fighting around the symbolically import city of Bakhmut, the end of winter is expected to mark a decisive turn in the war – though both sides have been reported to have challenges with equipment and replenishing lines. 

A Ukrainian soldier is pictured digging as troops reflect on the death of a soldier

An explosive suddenly rocks the dug out, causing the soldier at the mouth of the trench to fall

Soldiers check for casualties and report the attack before preparing for a clash

The video, originally 11 minutes long, starts with the Ukrainian forces turning off from a stretch of open land. Around the bunker are dead and dying trees. Smoke billows in the distance.

The forces – claimed to be among the best trained and equipped of the volunteer corps – enter a bunker dug into the ground and speak with allied soldiers. A fallen soldier is identified and one reflects, ‘yes brother, that’s how it is in war’.

READ MORE: Moment Ukrainian troops storm across no man’s land firing assault rifles as Kyiv inflicts ‘significant losses’ on Russian forces with hundreds more killed in battle of Bakhmut 

The soldiers take a moment of respite in the trench as one – later called ‘Lekha’ – digs into the ground at the mouth of the dug out. Seemingly without warning, a grenade goes off nearby and Lekha falls on his stomach.

Peers check on Lekha and the camera cuts to somebody radioing in the assault. They get to their feet and push their way out of the enclosed space as explosives fly overhead.

The cameraman moves around the trench, behind a knoll for cover. From the high ground, he targets a number of Russian soldiers in the prone position trying to get away. 

The Battle for Bakhmut has turned the city and surrounding areas into a hellscape over the last eight-and-a-half months.

The city sits on an important intersection of supply routes and, when fighting started in May 2022, was judged a vital staging point for assaults deeper into Donbas.  

Russian forces have also clung on to the city’s symbolic importance after a string of setbacks last year.

In late 2022, as Ukrainian counteroffensives reclaimed ground in the east of the country, the front between Bakhmut and Soledar to the north became a key focus for both sides.

Russian shelling of the city escalated in November last year as Russia managed to replenish lines. Soon, both sides were pushed to dig in to fortified trenches.

Winter slowed down the advances of both sides as the weather worsened and movement became more difficult.

In February, Russian soldiers started to speak out against the suicidal drives of Wagner Group’s mercenary forces, pushing forward in human waves under heavy artillery fire in scenes reminiscent of the Somme. 

The pushes would result in huge casualties for both Ukraine and the invading Russians, who were increasingly reinforcing the invasion forces with a shield of former convicts.

An insider source, likely from within Wagner Group, told Russian Criminal that groups of eight advance in waves. Each attack usually consists of four waves, but can take as many as 14 to take a contested area, as seen in Soledar.

The source said that casualties often totalled one hundred or more per section.

 By March, an elite Russian tank brigade appeared to mutiny after it was ordered to drive straight into a heavily fortified minefield, dubbed the ‘corridor of death’, on the Vuhledar frontline some three hours south of Bakhmut.

In April, Russia was seen to be building a 45-mile-long ‘mega trench’ visible from space along the southern region of Zaporizhzhia as it prepared for a Ukrainian counteroffensive. 

Troops report via radio that ‘orcs’ have jumped into their trenches outside of Bakhmut city

A grenade flies through the air as Ukrainian forces push their way out of the bunker

Explosives fly overhead as the troops emerge from the dug out and suppress the assault

One soldier works his way around to a slightly raised position and opens fire on the Russians

The soldier is seen reloading after firing at soldiers pinned down in no-mans-land near Bakhmut

Later in April, a leak of top-secret Pentagon files showed American planners doubted Ukraine’s ability to effectively mount the expected counteroffensive in the spring.

They raised concerns about Ukraine’s ability to replenish exhausted lines and the rate at which the defenders were burning through vital anti-air munitions. 

Leaks suggested Ukraine would run out of S-300 anti-air missiles by 2 May, hindering the ability to hold off Russian advances.

Since March 2022, the Russian airforce, the VKS, has been unable to effectively operate in Ukrainian airspace as air defences have been widely and dispersed.

Senior military officials in Ukraine warn that could change, putting cities and power stations at risk, unless Ukraine receives aid from abroad.

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