Today, June 3, marks 100 days of Russia's full-scale war in Ukraine. We have already reported about how the West showed an iron fist against Putin, but is still afraid to arm Kyiv too quickly.
Nevertheless, the Ukrainians surprised the whole world by debunking the myth of the invincible Russian army and preventing the Kremlin from putting its plan for a multi-vector world with the Anglo-Saxons on their knees into action.
The stubborn struggle of the Ukrainians was also documented by foreign journalists — The New York Times published an article dedicated to 100 days of the war with photos and stories collected by its correspondents right on the front last week.
Lightning speed gunners and hammer and sickle
One example of our soldiers’ courage is the fight in ambushes against Russian artillery. South of the occupied Izium last week, Ukrainian artillerymen fired two 122-mm guns from an ambush, then concealed from enemy drones at lightning speed, reloaded and again rushed into battle, write the authors of the article.
A crew of the 55th Separate Artillery Brigade
Other photos show how a Ukrainian soldier from the 93rd Mechanized Brigade helped to fire a projectile south of Izium, as well as the body of a Russian fighter in the village of Novopol, recently recaptured by Ukrainian forces.
"His brown suede belt was adorned with the hammer and sickle of the Soviet Union," the article reads.
The NYT correspondents also noted the bravery of the 95th Air Assault Brigade, camped in a concrete building at an abandoned farmhouse. One of them, 20-year-old Artem Sandul, had been making hamburgers at McDonald's before the Russian invasion and now he cooks for his sworn brothers.
Correspondents also described the battle between the Ukrainian artillerymen of the 53rd Brigade and the Russians in Vuhledar, 28 km from Donetsk, when the Ukrainians responded to Russian fire that was coming from a church 6 km away.
Ukrainian soldiers are trying to hold back the Russian advance amid a constant din and ground shudder of artillery fired by both sides.
The invaders suffered serious losses: the authors of the report write about the mutilated bodies and tanks of hundreds of Russian soldiers near Bilohorivka after an unsuccessful attempt to force the Seversky Donets River.
Barvinkove and Bakhmut: Life in ruins
In the almost destroyed Barvinkove, photographers shot footage of a cyclist pedaling past blown up buildings and barricades while our snipers worked over the occupiers, and Russian troops fired missiles over Ukrainian positions.
Bakhmut, on the same seesawing front line, the newspaper reports, has been largely evacuated.
Everywhere in the city you can see the remains of exploded shells, debris, burned vehicles, and two huge craters bracket the administrative building.
A lot of Ukrainians met by photo correspondents do not wear uniforms: for example, 47-year-old Vitaliy Kononenko had just built a new house for his family in the Zaporizhzhia region, but before he could bring his wife and children to see it, it was destroyed.
Anna Vereschak, 43, had to board an evacuation train with her daughters Milana, 5, and Diana, 4, while another woman, Valentyna, ushered her blind 87-year-old mother, Nina, onto the train.
Courageous police and residents in basements
NYT recalls that millions of Ukrainians left their homes, especially those in the East, but many did not manage to evacuate.
Correspondents describe how in Lysychansk three police officers, despite artillery fire, collected the bodies of the dead. Among them was a 65-year-old woman known to her neighbors as Grandma Masha.
Her dog growled and barked from his kennel. Grandma Masha could not get the medicine she needed to treat her diabetes, according to a neighbor, Lena, 39. Her son had left with his family and was not able to return when she fell ill.
In an apartment block in Sievierodonetsk, partially blasted and burned by shelling, residents huddled in the basement and barely reacted to the sounds of explosion and gunfire.
Carpathian Sich: Shelling and buckwheat
In the eastern part of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, photographers documented how dozens of members of the Carpathian Sich Battalion lived in the bunker.
"They ate, slept, cleaned their weapons and chatted on cellphones with their wives and girlfriends. Some gathered around a monitor to watch drone video of a recent attack. Most smoked," the authors of the article report.
At some point, the floor and walls of the bunker quaked (a tank round hit a nearby building), and small-arms fire followed. A handful of Ukrainian soldiers dashed outside to repel the attack, while others collected their weapons and waited by the door in case they were needed, and one of the soldiers simply lit a stove and began to frying buckwheat.
At a well-guarded and heavily fortified checkpoint, fighters built more trenches in preparation for a possible Russian advance, and a medic in the group boasted that their hideouts could take almost anything the Russians might fire at them.
A Ukrainian frontline position near the village of Vilne Pole, in the Donetsk region
The smell of war and burger kiosk
In the East of Ukraine, Wreckage is everywhere — from destroyed houses and buckled streets to burnt-out tanks, the tail of a rocket sticking out of the ground has become a common sight, correspondents write. According to their testimonies, the smells and sounds of war were also everywhere.
"Few civilians were around, but troops were omnipresent, patrolling, scavenging, resting and building fortifications when they were not fighting," the authors write.
The photojournalists also describe how soldiers from Ukraine’s 95th Air Assault Brigade, after their armored personnel carrier broke down, simply stood by a roadside road near Kramatorsk and smoked, waiting for a lift. Finally, they boarded another vehicle and set off for the front at dusk.
The authors of the article state that most of the inhabitants of Barvinkove left, but a few women sold agricultural products there last week, and in Bakhmut a kiosk cheerfully sold coffee, burgers, and sandwiches to soldiers.
Soldiers of the 93rd Brigade are on the front lines of the Russian offensive south of Izium. They told reporters about their enduring days of near-constant shelling alongside more familiar things like a highway accident and sandwiches in Bakhmut.
The American photojournalists were also interested in the fact that women who sold vegetables and dairy products in the shade of a tree in Barvinkove refused to take money from a soldier for her goods and simply wished him all the best.