In case of flare up, this battalion wouldn't defend themselves well, their equipment is frozen
No shelter and days of bitterly cold weather greets these Ukrainian soldiers. They're stationd at unequipped checkpoints in the east of the country. Dropped off in the middle of this field, their task is to dig trenches and set up equipment. For several nights in a row they've slept on the ground. The temperature was nearly minus 20 degrees Celsius.
Soldiers say central command's failure to equip their position has placed them in danger. In case of a flare up in fighting, the battalion would not be able to defend itself. Some of their equipment is frozen and now needs mending.
"Rolya", serviceman: "Do you see it's completely frozen, we have to dry it. Otherwise it won't shoot. See it's all wet. But we don't have anywhere to dry it…Everything has frozen."
Another soldier tells us he's been serving for nearly a year without demobilization.
"Artist", serviceman: "I've been on the frontline for nine months. Without holiday, without any breaks."
Within an hour of our camera crew arriving at the checkpoint a military press officer and a commander appear.
Evhen Boyko, deputy commander of 24th brigade: "We've arrived so we'll sort it out. This was a planned move of the brigade."
Despite setbacks and shortfalls such as this one, Ukrainian army officials tell us that the armed forces are continuing to change for the better. Prior to the Russian-backed insurgency in east Urkaine, the country's military was neglected for more than two decades