While Russian units advance in the eastern town of Bakhmut, reducing it to near ruins, Ukraine builds assault brigades, stores up on ammo, and obtains tanks and artillery from Western friends to recapture the region.
Ukrainian tank crews near the frontline city of Bakhmut say they are ready for an expected spring offensive against Russian forces in the east. Despite not having fired for days, they carry out regular maintenance on their tanks to ensure they are always prepared. Ukraine claims to have been preparing an offensive for months aimed at repelling Russian forces from the territory they currently hold in the east and south. Bakhmut, which had a population of 70,000 before the conflict, has been reduced to near ruins, with the Russian authorities claiming to control about 90 percent of the city. Ukrainian forces hold only a small part of western Bakhmut. To reclaim land, Ukraine has formed assault brigades, stocked up on ammunition, and received battle tanks and long-range artillery from its Western allies. However, one tank mechanic believes that a counteroffensive will not happen soon and that it will require considerable forces and equipment.