Inside Ukraine's frontline where fighting is fiercer than ever 1 year on – as heroes unleash hell on Wagner mercenaries | The SunFebruary 24, 2023
FIGHTING on Ukraine's frontline is fiercer than ever as Vladimir Putin's butchers face the wrath of heroic defenders.
Tank battles continually rage in the war-torn eastern cities of Bakhmut and Marinka as Volodymyr Zelensky's troops unleash hell on mercenaries from Russia's Wagner group.
The war in Ukraine has been raging for exactly one year, but fighting in this area shows no sign of slowing down as Ukrainian soldiers continue to push back.
Troops have described Bakhmut as "hell on earth" as intense round-the-clock attacks reduces the city's landscape to ruin.
But Ukrainian soldiers are refusing to give up without a fight – despite those on the frontline claiming to have a four-hour life expectancy.
New footage shows brave Ukrainian defenders letting rip on a Wagner base using a mighty BMP-2 tank.
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The Wagner group have been at the spearhead of battles in recent weeks with the private army's head using its soldiers as cannon fodder in suicidal human wave attacks.
Dozens of the group's mercenaries were massacred in a single day after running out of ammunition.
Their leader Yevgeny Prigozhin posted a macabre picture showing the corpses of the fighters who died in the brutal battle for the city of Bakhmut.
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Horrifying pictures have laid bare the shocking plight of soldiers caught up in Ukraine's bloodiest battle in Bakhmut.
Putin's butchers have been attempting to claim the eastern city for more than six months, but have been held off by stiff Ukrainian resistance.
The city has been hollowed out by artillery fire and levelled by carpet bombing – with its frozen ground carved up by craters and trenches.
According to soldiers on the frontline, avoiding being killed is near impossible as they are often outnumbered ten to one by Russian troops.
A Ukrainian reporter speaking to one Ukrainian fighter in the city was told: “The average lifespan for mobilised fighters in Bakhmut is four hours”.
Meanwhile in Marinka, pictures show fiery tank battles reducing the city to rubble, with no buildings left intact.
The city's police chief, Artem Schus, described his town as "completely destroyed".
Apart from soldiers, the town has been entirely evacuated "because there is no way for the civilian population to live there", he told The AP in an interview.
Schus believes that Russian forces are deliberately razing the ruins, blasting walls that still stand, to “destroy all cover, regardless of whether it is a civilian shelter or a military facility.”
He added: “They destroy everything because, with their tactics, they cannot defeat our troops, and resort to the destruction of all living things.”
Both Bakhmut and Marinka are in the Donetsk province, where territory is roughly split between Russian and Ukrainian control.
The front line runs through what is left of the town — which is very little.
It comes as Zelensky today vowed "2023 will be the year of victory" in a defiant message of hope on the first anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
As dawn broke on the sombre day and the threat of fresh missile strikes loomed over the country, the heroic Ukrainian president pledged to defeat "evil" Putin.
Zelensky said brave Ukrainians had proven themselves to be "invincible" in a "year of pain, sorrow, faith and the unity".
Deluded Putin expected to defeat Ukraine in three days after his troops stormed the country last year.
He ordered his forces to invade Ukraine in the belief he could secure a lightning victory by seizing the capital Kyiv and "decapitating" the leadership.
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But heroic Ukrainian resistance thwarted the Russians, whose dreams of quick victory soon turned into a nightmare – with nearly 150,000 of Vlad's soldiers now lying dead.
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