'The drones are like bees': Ukrainian soldiers speak from the frontline after Russia's invasions

ITV News Correspondent John Ray sent this eyewitness report from the frontline with Ukrainian forces as they try to repel a fresh offensive by invading Russians

Oleg is a long way from home. A thousand kilometres,

He’s an architect by profession, from Lviv, on the western edge of his country.

But we meet him - and his exhausted platoon - close to the front line in the far northeast.

"They [the Russians] are striking everything. Everything they can," he tells us.

His team are taking a break after five intense days of fighting. Soon they’ll be back in action.

"It’s very difficult. Physically and emotionally. The drones are like bees. All you here is buzzing. It’s like rain."

We’re heading towards Vovchansk, the Ukrainian town close to the border that is now a front line after the recent Russian incursion.

Another soldier tells us there’s little left of the town but its name.

These are anxious times for Ukraine, and for our hosts, the 57th Brigade.

As we arrive at their artillery position, we’re greeted by machine gun fire.

They’re hunting yet another drone that’s been spotted overhead.

Compared to my last visit to the frontline, there’s an increase in the scale and intensity of drone attacks.

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The unit now has a drone marksman. His fingers drum across his rifle. He is yet to shoot one down.

They, and we, will spend many of the coming hours together hiding in bunkers and tree lines.

One of the self-propelled guns has broken down. It won’t fire today.

They say they have enough ammunition, but there is no other sign of the latest American military aid package making much impact.

The Russians out-gun, and crucially, out-number the Ukrainian forces here.

Dmytro, a local commander, tells us his unit has been moved here to shore up defences. There’s a danger that leaves the line elsewhere much thinner.

‘’I really worry about that. There are a lot of Russians. We need more of everything. The front line was already very long. Now it’s even longer.’’

The mood is anxious. The future uncertain. And with Russian forces massing elsewhere along the border, these troops are prepared for a long and difficult summer ahead.

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