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Soldiers are expected to survive around four hours on the frontline in Bakhmut, Ukraine, a fighter has claimed.
Former U.S. Marine Troy Offenbecker is attached to Ukraine's International Legion, a fighting group made up of troops from abroad battling for Ukraine.
He toldABC Newsabout the gruesome life of people involved in the bloody battle, which in December was said by some reports to have been claiming the lives of 50 to 100 Russian troops alone every day.
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He said: "It's been pretty bad on the ground.
"A lot of casualties. The life expectancy is around four hours on the frontline."
Fighting in the eastern city has been raging since July 2022 and the relentless attritional combat has often earned it description as a “meat grinder”.
Efforts to capture the city by Vladimir Putin’s forces have not gone smoothly for Russia’s president.
But despite the staunch resistance from Ukranian defenders, the sheer weight of the Russian military has led Offenbecker to fear that the city can’t be held indefinitely.
Every 100 yards of territory 'costs Russia lives of 2,000 men,' says NATO
Despite reports about Russia’s struggles, the ex-Marine described shelling coming "all day and night".
He added: "[Russia] have maybe run into a shortage of shells lately, but the past couple of weeks it's been nonstop. All day and night."
Across the front, increased efforts are understood to be being made by Russia as part of a well-anticipated spring offensive with both Ukrainian officials and Offenbecker now saying it is well underway.
He continued: "With the amount of shelling, the amount of armour that they've brought in, I think it's started.
"It's just hard because the winter hasn't been as cold as it usually is. They can't move as much armour as I'm sure they would like to with the ground."
The attritional nature of much of the fighting across the east of Ukraine has been likened by multiple commentators to the trench warfare of WW1.
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