ERR in Ukraine: Fierce fighting continues near Bakhmut

A Ukrainian T-64 main battle tank.
A Ukrainian T-64 main battle tank. Source: ERR

Battles continue to rage in Ukraine's Donbas region. Both sides are using everything at their disposal to try and control the city.

Bakhmut is one of the hottest places in the Donbas today. Ukraine's 58th Brigade, including a tank battalion, is holding position around the city.

Ukrainian troops are using modernized T-64 tanks.

"It is capable on the terrain, the gun's accurate and its reactive armor works. It all boils down to the crew. The better care you take of the machine, the better it drives and shoots. A lot depends on the team, but the tank's alright despite being from the 1960s," tanker Kostiantin said.

Ukraine has put in repeated requests for more modern armor from the West, so far to no avail.

"Our tanks are a little different that Western alternatives. Our tanks can be used to fire from camouflaged positions and attack, while Western tanks are mainly for offensive operations," Ukrainian soldier Oleksandr explained.

Shooting from a hidden location, where you cannot directly see the enemy, the tank commander gets a set of coordinates. Fire accuracy is then coordinated by aerial reconnaissance. This time, the enemy tank was hit.

The farthest we are from the enemy here is 11 kilometers at which distance a tank is just as effective as an artillery gun. The shell will land in a 20x20 square from that distance," a soldier nicknamed "Thunder" told ERR.

The main task of Ukrainian forces in the region is to keep Bakhmut and Soledar from falling to the enemy.

"Things have become a little tougher. There is more work," Kostiantin said.

"When the tank takes a direct hit, it depends on what was used to shoot at it. It cannot survive a 152 millimeter shell, while it can a 122 millimeter one, as well as mortar rounds. We just came from work and came under mortar fire. We didn't take a direct hit, they just landed next to us. The shells rattle against the sides of the tank, but it's not really terrifying. The main thing is to keep swerving to avoid the shells," Kostiantin said.

The Ukrainian air force also has its hands full in the region. The pilots are using dummy missiles to avoid being hit themselves.


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Editor: Merili Nael, Marcus Turovski

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