(Dan Tri) – The shortage of soldiers and equipment to evacuate wounded soldiers on the battlefield in Ukraine makes many soldiers in this country go into battle with the mindset that they may face the worst scenario.

Ukrainian military medical staff evacuated a wounded soldier from the front line near Bakhmut in 2023 (Photo: AFP).

Mykhailo arrived at a fortification less than an hour after it was attacked by Russian drones.

`When I arrived, the bodies of two teammates were already cold,` he said.

No time to linger around.

Four Ukrainian soldiers were on their way back to the rear from the front line to change shifts and hide in the fortifications.

After that, the injured soldier had no other choice but to move himself to the nearest rescue point, a few hundred meters away.

In positions under heavy shelling and near Russian troops, Ukrainian soldiers said that medical evacuation operations for wounded soldiers did not exist.

For Mykhailo, a soldier with Ukraine’s 80th Air Assault Brigade fighting near Klishchiivka, that means every time he goes into battle, he considers the scenario of not returning alive.

`I know I will face death there (on the front line). Medical rescue operations are impossible (for Ukraine) right now,` he said.

The reason for this situation is that the fighting is taking place too fiercely.

It could take a day or even two for soldiers to get in and out of the heaviest fighting spots.

Ukrainian soldiers often have to pull their comrades out themselves under heavy artillery fire, sometimes having to walk 5-7km to the nearest evacuation point to take wounded soldiers to field hospitals.

When soldiers carried wounded comrades out onto the front lines, the group was easily detected.

Evacuation vehicles could not reach positions to quickly get the injured out.

Dangerous situation on the battlefield

Frontline units say they face severe shortages of basic equipment such as US-made M113 armored personnel carriers and even Soviet-era BMP infantry vehicles.

On average, each unit of 300-600 soldiers only has one M113 vehicle and one BMP.

The Ukrainian army’s Medical Corps admitted that armored vehicles used for evacuations needed to be `constantly replenished`.

In some units, soldiers interviewed said their commanders were often worried about losing rare armored personnel carriers.

Military expert Michael Kofman, an expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said: `The core problem that has remained unchanged throughout this war is the shortage of armored vehicles to perform rescue missions.`

According to Glen Grant, a retired British lieutenant colonel and recently a defense expert at the Ukraine Institute, the Ukrainian army has `extremely poor` equipment and medical care facilities on the battlefield.

This situation creates a vicious circle for Ukraine.

Mykhailo from the 80th brigade said his unit had been severely reduced after eight months of fighting south of Bakhmut.

Mykhailo believes that his chance of survival is very small because if he is injured, it will be difficult for him to be brought home for treatment.

Mykhailo, a father of two, said through tears and panting: `I’m just doing my job the best I can. If I die on the battlefield, for Ukraine, I’m ready.`