Andriy and Borisych, two Ukrainian soldiers, reside in a bunker dug into the frozen ground southwest of Bakhmut. They have been battling against hundreds of Wagner, a Russian private military contractor, who have been launching themselves into Ukrainian fortifications for several weeks.

Andriy, disguised in a balaclava, describes a seemingly long firefight that occurred when they were attacked by a swarm of Wagner fighters.

“We were fighting for about 10 hours in a row. And it wasn’t like just waves, it was uninterrupted. So it was just like they didn’t stop coming,” he says. “It was about 20 soldiers on our side. And let’s say 200 from their side,” he says."

The Wagner method of warfare entails sending an initial wave of assault that is primarily made up of untrained recruits fresh from Russian jails. They lack adequate equipment and have little knowledge of military strategy. Most simply wish to return home rather than to a cell after their six-month term is over, CNN reported.

“They make the group – let’s say from 10 soldiers – reach 30 meters, then they start digging in to keep the position,” Andriy says of Wagner.

Only when the first wave is exhausted or cut down does Wagner send in more experienced combatants, often from the flanks, in an effort to overrun Ukrainian positions.

Andriy compares the battle to a scene out of a zombie movie. “They’re climbing above the corpse of their friends, stepping on them,” he says. “It looks like it’s very, very likely that they are getting some drugs before the attack,” he says, a claim that CNN has not been able independently to verify.

If Wagner forces are successful in seizing a location, artillery support enables them to dig foxholes and solidify their gains, according to a Ukrainian intelligence report. Ukrainian intercepts claim that there is frequently a lack of coordination between Wagner and the Russian military.

This week, Yevgeny Prigozhin, CEO of the Wagner Group, was contacted by CNN regarding claims of misconduct within the organization.

Prigozhin responded in a statement, calling CNN an “open enemy” before insisting Wagner is an “exemplary military organization that complies with all the necessary laws and rules of modern wars.”

Soldier - Ukraine War
Tetyana Mudrenko, a 56-year-old nurse was hanged on the street by the occupiers for saying "Skadovsk is Ukraine" in occupied Skadovsk. Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images

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