Average Ukraine Soldier Life Expectancy in “Meat Grinder” Is 4 Hours

  • The average life expectancy of a front-line soldier in eastern Ukraine is just 4 hours, says a former US Marine.
  • He said the fighting is especially deadly in Bakhbut, dubbed “the meat grinder.”
  • Ukraine has resisted Russian advances on the city ahead of the one-year anniversary of the invasion.

The average life expectancy of a front-line soldier in eastern Ukraine is just four hours, a former US Marine fighting alongside Ukrainian forces in the Donbas told ABC News

“It’s been pretty bad on the ground. A lot of casualties. The life expectancy is around four hours on the front line,” American Troy Offenbecker said. 

The city of Bakhmut has experienced some of the bloodiest fighting since Russia’s invasion in Ukraine almost one year ago. The battle for the city is the longest running of the war.

Fighting in Bakhmut is so bad, Offenbecker said, it’s been dubbed “the meat grinder.”

In early January, a senior US military official described combat in and around this town, which may be of limited strategic significance to either side, as “savage.”

“You’re talking about thousands upon thousands of artillery rounds that have been delivered between both sides,” the official said. “In many cases, you know, you’re looking at, you know, several thousand artillery rounds in a day that are being exchanged.”

Bakhmut has been a major target for Russian offensive forces. According to the UK Ministry of Defence, Russia is under “increasing political pressure” to claim some victories ahead of the anniversary of the invasion. 

“It is likely that Russia will claim that Bakhmut has been captured to align with the anniversary, regardless of the reality on the ground,” the ministry tweeted Monday. 

Bakhmut, in the Donetsk region, has been besieged by Russian forces throughout much of the war in Ukraine. Late last year, Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy said it had been reduced to “burned ruins.”

Russian forces have been attempting to encircle the war-torn city for months, but stiff Ukrainian opposition has so far prevented the Russians from taking it. 

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