Three months into war morale on Ukraine's frontline begins to wane

ITV News Correspondent Dan Rivers reports from the frontline in Ukraine

Three months into the war in Ukraine, those serving in the military are struggling to keep their morale up and are gloomy about their immediate prospects.

Speaking to soldiers on the front line against Russia, ITV News Correspondent Dan Rivers met with young men who had given everything to fight for their country but felt like they were against an enemy who outnumbered them in every sense.

"They are advancing," one soldier said.

"I am feeling sadness, I think we are going to win but we need more weapons, more material, more fighters, they have 10 times more than we do and we are paying with our blood."

The Ukrainian government has said it is losing around 100 soldiers a day in the conflict, although some suggest the number could be double that.

In contrast, in the 2003-2009 Iraq war the UK lost 179 soldiers in total.

The country hopes to have a million men under arms in the coming months but the costs it will have on the entire generation are impossible to calculate.

Before the war Anton wanted to be a teacher, but now he repairs tanks. Credit: ITV News

Anton wanted to be a primary school teacher before the war.

He would not speak about the horrors of what he had seen during his time battling Russia, but said it had changed him forever and he was now afraid of working with children.

After initially failing in its original goal of conquering huge areas of the country including Kyiv, Russia has refocused its efforts on taking the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.

Fighting in the Donbas has ground on for more than two months and has developed into a slog between the two sides.

Ukraine is relying on old T-72 tanks for much of its fighting force. Credit: ITV News

A provincial governor said on Friday that Russian and Ukrainian forces battled “for every house and every street” in Sievierodonetsk, a city that recently has been under steady attack.

Sievierodonetsk is in the last pocket of Luhansk province that has not yet been claimed by Russia or Moscow-backed separatists.Luhansk governor Serhiy Haidai said Ukrainian forces retain control of the industrial zone on the edge of the city and some other sections amid the painstaking block-by-block fighting.

An envoy for the Luhansk People’s Republic, a self-proclaimed separatist territory, reported on Friday that some Ukrainian troops were trapped inside a chemical plant on the city’s outskirts.

“All escape routes have been cut off,” Rodion Miroshnik, Moscow ambassador for the unrecognised republic, wrote on social media.

“They are being told that no conditions will be accepted. Only the laying down of arms and surrender,” he said.