Ukrainian troops from the Donbas region found themselves dramatically outnumbered by Russian soldiers in the disputed Battle of Bakhmut.

Faced with severe ammunition shortages, The New Yorker reported from the trenches outside Bakhmut in mid-March that the Ukrainians were being forced to ration their mortar shells, limiting them to just five a day, compared to about 300 during the earlier fighting at Kherson, when supplies were readily available.

Meanwhile, a Ukrainian lieutenant colonel, Pavlo, told the news outlet that the Russian military used roughly ten times that amount.

Shortages on the front lines paint a bleak picture of conditions for weary infantrymen as Ukraine prepares for a spring counteroffensive.

The infantry brigade described in the article was crucial in preventing Russian troops from completely taking over Bakhmut in recent weeks, allowing the area’s southern road “to be used to reinforce and resupply Ukrainian units in the town.” said Rob Lee, a US expert on the Russian military and a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

Russia claims it has fully taken over the beleaguered eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy denies that Russia is in full control of the city, on the front line of the invasion.

Russian troops and paid soldiers from the Wagner Group have also reported shortages of ammunition and supplies.

Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert