In Ukraine’s East, Fears Grow of New Russian Power Play – The Wall Street Journal

AVDIIVKA, Ukraine—Arthur Volodymyrovych ducked his head down as he walked along the bottom of a trench last week, hoping to avoid sniper fire from Russia-backed separatists positioned less than 900 feet away.

He has been stationed here as a soldier with Ukraine’s armed forces for five months—the trenches for far longer.

The rules of engagement are simple.

“When they attack us with fire, we respond with fire. And so it goes on,” said Mr. Volodymyrovych, whose unit’s sleeve patch reads, “Ukraine or Death,” emblazoned over a skull. “I don’t see an end to this war soon,” he said.

Seven years ago, pro-Russia separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine declared their independence, backed and armed by Moscow, which also seized the Crimean peninsula.