Passing through both the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts (provinces), in eastern Ukraine, the front line stretches for approximately 500km. Largely unchanged since 2015, it twists and turns along a line of hamlets, villages, towns and at least one city. Today we live in a technological age where anything seems possible, but Europe’s current war takes us back in time to 1914/18 and the First World War. It’s a trench war, with both sides dug in only a few hundred metres apart.
Situation map showing Russia’s forces July 6th firing. From the south Azov Sea coast, the bulk of the front line runs north up through Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast (yellow). The thick red line on the right marks the 409km of Ukraine’s eastern border entirely under Russian control since Sept 2014.
The OSCE report around 50% of all firing happens at night. Its a brutal war of attrition, with Ukrainian forces suppressing Russia’s forces firing and both sides keen to take revenge for any losses inflicted upon them. Taken by Ukrainian military media team, the below recent images show Ukrainian soldiers (and their little four-legged helpers) holding the line.