Russian mobilized soldiers storm Ukrainian positions with spades, UK intel reports

5 March, 05:55 PM
Russian military (Photo:Ministry of Defense of Russia/Telegram)

Russian military (Photo:Ministry of Defense of Russia/Telegram)

The intensification of fighting on the front line in recent days is likely the result of Russian commanders' orders to continue the mostly infantry offensive with minimal artillery support due to the lack of shells, reports the UK Defense Intelligence in its update on March 5.

In late February 2023, Russian conscripted soldiers were ordered to attack concrete-reinforced Ukrainian positions, being armed with "firearms and shovels." The "shovels" are likely entrenching tools being employed for hand-to-hand combat, the UK agency said.

"The lethality of the standard-issue MPL-50 entrenching tool is particularly mythologized in Russia. Little changed since it was designed in 1869, its continued use as a weapon highlights the brutal and low-tech fighting which has come to characterize much of the war," it added.

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Namely, one reservist said he wasn't ready either physically, or psychologically for such combat.

As British intelligence reported earlier, the Ukrainian defense of Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast is under "increasingly severe pressure" of intense fighting in and around the town. Two key bridges in Bakhmut were destroyed in the past week.

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