first published on January 8, 2018 by Will
A pro Ukrainian foot patrol comes under small arms harassment fire in the vicinity of Donetsk in this recent video.
The footage shows a squad of militiamen conducting a dismounted patrol under and around highway overpasses in the no-man’s land in between pro Russian and Ukrainian front lines. They appear to be pilfering abandoned vehicles for various items that may have been overlooked or deemed not valuable during warmer months.
Additionally, by searching the vehicles lying in the dead space, the troops may be able to uncover clues as to their enemy’s activities. Have the abandoned vehicles recently been used as an observation post or fighting position by the Russian proxy rebels? Small patrols like these keep the militants in fighting shape and mind, and may tip them off to future enemy attacks. Yet, the risk of booby traps is ever-present.
As the patrol reaches an underpass, enemy rounds start cracking in relatively close. They seek cover and don’t appear to return fire. They are visibly light on equipment, and wasting rounds on an unseen enemy that is likely out of effective small arms range is to be avoided.
After establishing that the enemy still holds ground nearby, and being satisfied with their reconnaissance patrol of the abandoned vehicles, the squad makes a hasty withdrawal to their rendezvous extraction point where they meet up with the mounted element that dropped them off.
The Ukrainian War still smolders and we may actually see a rekindling of heavy fighting in the near future. In December, the Trump Administration approved the largest U.S. commercial sale of lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine since 2014, according to an article in The Washington Post.
The State Department authorized a $41.5 million deal to export Barrett M107 .50 cal sniper rifles, ammunition, and other equipment that will bolster the ranks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. However, the Ukrainians are seeking anti tank guided missiles and Javelin missiles, but the US has yet to meet those demands, in order to mitigate conflict with Russia. The State Department is also making sure it is known that these are commercial sales, and that the US isn’t directly arming Ukraine.