Inside front-line aerial unit surveilling battle of Bakhmut
Editor’s Note: The Ukrainian soldiers featured in this article are identified by first names and callsigns to protect their identities.
BAKHMUT, Donetsk Oblast – On the screen of a large handheld remote control, a Ukrainian drone operator scans a gray, washed-out landscape of ruined houses and muddy trenches.
It isn’t long before movement is spotted. A small Russian assault team is advancing on a Ukrainian trench in a field, just past the last line of houses on the edge of the city.
“Look, he’s shooting now,” says the drone pilot, pointing to a shabby gray figure with a rifle raised. “And another, just over there, he just threw a grenade.”
The Russian and Ukrainian soldiers are now less than 30 meters from each other.
“We don’t have anything to shoot at them with, but at this point it would be too dangerous anyway, we could hit our own guys,” says the pilot.
Caked in the mud of their landscape, the Russian soldiers disappear from sight as soon as they appeared. The…