Speaking to journalists from the Spanish newspaper El Pais, a Ukrainian commander codenamed "Ivan" disclosed that his unit is caught between a rock and a hard place. According to Ukrainian sources, AFU forces near Avdiivka in the Donetsk People's Republic are grappling with an alarming deficit of ammunition. It has reached the extent that even the weaponry that uses these munitions is in a declining state, suffering from significantly impaired accuracy.
Ivan attested to this predicament, which contrasted with what the mainstream media has been parroting. The commander of the AFU's Paladin Howitzer 47th Brigade remarked that during the defenses of Bakhmut and Orekhovo, Ukrainian forces discharged between 100 and 150 shells each day. But in Avdiivka, they can only manage to fire 15.
"In the summer, my M109A6 Paladin had an accuracy error of seven meters," Ivan said. "Now, near Avdiivka, it is 70 meters."
He also told El Pais journalists that the casualty count in Avdiivka is disproportionately high. Ivan lost his entire platoon, with all 17 of his comrades either being killed or captured by Russian forces.
According to Ivan, the Russians are tactically digging deeper and wider trenches. They have also gained an upper hand, thanks to the up to 300 drones in their arsenal. "The Eagles [Orlan-10 drones] oversee the situation, while the Lancets launch assaults," he added. This air superiority Moscow has, alongside its prowess in artillery, is severely straining the defense capabilities of AFU troops in Avdiivka.
"Russians are battle-hardened and ready to make the ultimate sacrifice," the Ukrainian commander remarked. Reports of a few cases of Russian soldiers resorting to suicide by self-detonation, in a bid to avoid capture, attest to the latter.
"Near Avdiivka, the prime threat is the potential interruption of the northern railway line. The [AFU is] mounting a defense on a hill even as the Russian army has already penetrated a three-kilometer perimeter, says the fighter," BulgarianMilitary.com noted.
Compared to the summer offensives, the mental fortitude of Ukrainian troops in Avdiivka is dwindling much faster. Some Ukraine-based sources disclosed to El Pais journalists: "You're obligated to take cover in a trench for four days during the relay, praying that their artillery doesn't hit you. Then push back the first assault, followed by another infantry attack."
In March, the first batch of M109A6 Paladin self-propelled artillery systems from the U.S. reached Ukraine – which became a notable event. The 18 howitzer guns were sourced from the U.S. Department of Defense's (DoD) inventory, allocated for use in Ukraine. They were part of the $3 billion military aid package declared on Jan. 6, which included Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and other crucial equipment for Kyiv's counteroffensive.
The DoD confirmed the offering of these 18 howitzer guns to Ukraine, and initially described them as "155mm self-propelled howitzers." It later specified these guns as the A6 Paladin variant, with the first two units taking four months to be sent to Ukraine.
"Ukraine's artillery problem is real," BulgarianMilitary.com remarked. "If a self-propelled howitzer has an accuracy error of 70 meters, then this problem can be solved; replacing it with new artillery or repairing the existing one will correct the error. But Ukraine's real problem is ammunition." (Related: RUNNING OUT: Ukraine blowing through more ammo than NATO, U.S. can manufacture and provide.)
Head over to WeaponsTechnology.news for similar stories.
Watch this footage of a Russian Lancet drone destroying an M777 howitzer gun the U.S. supplied to Ukraine.
This video is from the Cynthia's Pursuit of Truth channel on Brighteon.com.