NewsUkrainian marines name brutal Dnieper onslaught as purgatory on earth: Futile warfare reveals high casualty rates

Ukrainian marines name brutal Dnieper onslaught as purgatory on earth: Futile warfare reveals high casualty rates

The text "TG" is already in English, so there is no need for translation.
The text "TG" is already in English, so there is no need for translation.
Images source: © TG

10:56 AM EST, December 17, 2023

The American newspaper reports a tremor in the voice of the marine as he recalls the deadly battles on the eastern bank of the Dnieper where he was recently wounded. "Sat in the water overnight amidst continuous shelling," Maksym described, adding that his comrades died before his eyes.

Heavy losses among Ukrainian soldiers

For over two months, Ukrainians have been storming the Dnieper in the southern Kherson region. Emphasizing the brutal conditions, soldiers describe the task as futile, since "waves of Ukrainian soldiers were knocked down on the banks of the river or in the water before even reaching the other side." The newspaper underlines that Ukraine's ordeal is an attempt to weaken Russian defense in the south and reclaim the war direction.

Desolate battlefields offer little cover, and initial approaches usually involve water-soaked islands cut across by streams or mud-filled meadows littered with water-filled bomb craters,.

Only offering their first names for security purposes, soldiers and marines expressed concern about the high casualty rates and seemingly optimistic official reports regarding the offensive progress. The fiercest battles occurred in Krynki village, upstream from Kherson city, where Ukrainian troops have managed to gain a small foothold.

Disturbing battlefield scenes

- Incoming personnel often need to tread on their fallen comrades in the muddy battlefield, an unfortunate sight," said Oleksij, a veteran soldier who fought in Krynki and has revisited the place multiple times for evacuations.

- Some of the marines who fell earlier have remained there for months as units were unable to retrieve their bodies amidst heavy shelling," revealed Volodymyr, the deputy company commander.

Despite official statements mentioning successes, the soldiers on the ground believe these reports are inflated. Mentioning the difficulty of establishing a foothold and the insurmountable challenges of equipment transfer, Oleksij called their mission suicidal.

Oleksij also blamed poor preparation and logistics for the decimation of his battalion. He accounts for men left behind due to a lack of boats, citing that brutal conditions corrode morale and soldier cohesion.

- People sent into battle are often mentally unprepared. Most don't even know where they're headed," Oleksij further lamented. He agreed to publicize his account due to the high casualties in his battalion. "What I've seen here is unmatched by my previous experiences in Bachmut or Soledar," he underlined.

Ukrainian attacks have seemingly caught Russian commanders off guard who had to deploy an airborne unit from the Zaporozhye front to bolster defenses.

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Devastating retreat and purgatory

Recuperating from his wounds in a hospital, Krynki veteran Maksym recalled the unbearable Russian airstrikes and tank, artillery, and mortar shelling. The assault was so severe that his platoon couldn't vacate the initial refuge basements.

An evacuation order came after an air raid killed three people, leading to a chaotic retreat under an artillery barrage. The soldiers managed to reach the river bank, only to find that they had to wait three hours before evacuations could be facilitated by boats.

- It was a swamp, filled with water from impact craters - recounted Maksym. "We had to dig as deep as we could. Everyone was injured at that point," he added, mentioning that the boats only took the severely wounded while the rest awaited further assistance.

Protracting their wait, Russian planes bombed the river bank with three bombs, another boat arrived to evacuate five more injured. However, Maksym had to agonizingly wait another 40 minutes for the next ride.

- It felt like purgatory on the left bank. Though not dead, you don't feel alive," he added.

He mentioned that half of his platoon of 10 are either declared dead or missing.

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