Much is made of the high-tech World War III-style weaponry used by Ukrainian forces in their war with Russia.
Still, much of this fighting looks more like World War I-style trench warfare: along the eastern front entrenched in Kyiv’s war with Russian-backed separatists. And now in reserve defensive positions in the south, around the Russian city of Kherson, where a major battle is brewing.
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Complete with all the basic necessities troops have in these types of conditions. How to stay warm and dry and supplied with energy. While jousting with the enemy.
“Winter is here,” former Ukrainian president and businessman Petro Poroshenko told us, “It’s easy for you to imagine what it must be like there.”
Poroshenko’s businesses and charities have contributed a lot to the troops. On a cold night in Kyiv, we watched equipment being loaded onto trucks to be taken to the front line near Kherson.
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Portable metal wood stoves for soldiers to snuggle in, retaining the heat of burning logs for hours at a time.
Compact gas and diesel generators, the critical electricity source for canoes in the middle of nowhere.
And the cargo trucks themselves, armored to defend against artillery blasts that wouldn’t have seemed out of place on the battlefields of France more than a hundred years ago.
Poroshenko acknowledges that all the cutting-edge equipment that Ukraine is receiving from the US and the West – long-range guided missiles, drones, jets, modern tanks, satellite surveillance systems – is key to entangling with Russia. .
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But it’s also firm on the basics: strong support for brave warriors.
“We have one of the best armed forces in the world,” he said, “but having you shoulder to shoulder with us…this is the future of the world.”
A “future” -using techniques from the past and the present- hanging by a thread.
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