Weary Ukrainian troops defend city of Lysychansk as war of attrition tests endurance

ITV News Global Security Editor Rohit Kachroo and his team of camera operator Jamie Bowles and producers Dan Howells, Krystyna Fedoseeva and Andriy Glushko have a special frontline report from Ukraine on how its soldiers are coping with the grinding war of attrition

Ukrainian soldiers defending the nearly empty eastern city of Lysychansk are bracing for more Russian attacks, as weary troops locked in a grinding war of attrition battle to maintain morale.

ITV News filmed in the Donbas region where Russia is intensifying its assaults, particularly around Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, key cities Moscow wants to capture.

The frontline of the war is now being fought in the woods as well as the streets of Donbas, the old industrial heartland that Vladimir Putin's forces have vowed to "liberate".

Olexandr's men are running out of rockets, with much of the battles taking place in and around the woods. Credit: ITV News

But, as Global Security Editor Rohit Kachroo reports, the Ukrainian resistance is still defiant in the face of aggression, despite some soldiers fighting with dated equipment.

Ukrainian troops are seen firing rockets towards places from where they believe Ukrainian towns are being attacked.

Many people have fled as the attacks have stepped up - Rohit Kachroo spotted a residential building struck only a few hundred metres from where he and the team were standing.

A plume of smoke rises after an apartment was hit in an attack. Credit: ITV News

As ITV News cameras filmed, the eerie silence was interrupted by nearby explosions.

Amid a constant threat of danger, those who have stayed in Lysychansk have moved underground, where it feels like the night time all the time.

For Valentina she did not leave because she didn't want to be a burden on her young family.

Valentina is among the minority of residents who have stayed in Lysychansk despite the constant threat of danger. Credit: ITV News

"I have spent my whole life here, why should I leave my own home?" she said.

"Grandmother's are praying. We are afraid because we are just human - we get scared."

Capturing Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk would hand Russia almost all Luhansk oblast, one of the two regions of the Donbas.

The seasons have changed twice since the invasion began in February.

Although many remain determined to stay and defend their homeland, some Ukrainian troops are beginning to feel weary as they miss their families.

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