A soldier with a thick mustache stands in view, his machine gun nestled in his shoulder. Only six hundred yards away can be seen the sandbags of the Russian-backed separatists.
"They use drones to throw mines at our positions," Commander Pavel Sergeevich tells CNN, nodding in the direction of the enemy.
He says one of his men was shot dead by a sniper 10 days ago. It is assumed that there is a ceasefire, but it is broken regularly.
In July, when President Donald Trump encouraged new Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to investigate his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, nearly $ 400 million in military and security assistance to Ukraine was already halted and would continue for months. Whether aid was withheld from pressure to launch a corruption probe and whether it is impossible is now a key part of the House Democrats' crackdown on the president.
By the time Sergeevich and his men learned about the freeze, that assistance was already released. But the delay left cold.
Sergeevich told CNN that he was "unhappy and disappointed. America is the strongest and most important ally. "
How the US participates
It is difficult to find much evidence of US military assistance on the front lines beyond US-issued tourniquets and dressings and night-vision goggles. . This battlefield near Shirokine, with its trenches hand-dug with shovels, seems to have more to do with World War I stories than the conflicts of the 21
The key weapon that the US agreed to sell is Javelin, an anti-tank rocket that Zelensky mentioned in his July 25 conversation with Trump. The United States has ruled that the system cannot be used on the front lines, where it could lead to an escalation of power from the Russian side.