Former British Royal Air Force Vice-Marshal Sean Bell appeared on the U.K.’s Sky News earlier this month to provide insight into the Russian-Ukrainian War based on footage from the frontlines, serving as a sobering reminder of the realities of conflict in 2023.
Bell is shown footage from a wooded area where Ukrainian soldiers are shooting guns and throwing grenades into makeshift Russian bunkers dug in the forest floor. In the video, one soldier can be seen providing covering fire as another pulls his injured friend to safety, prompting Bell to note, “I’m very struck by watching this that there’s a whole generation of people brought up on games, Call of Duty and other such games, first-person shooter, and that’s what this feels like when you first look at it. But of course, there is no reset — you can’t control that reset, you can’t say, ‘Right, I’ve been killed, let’s come back alive in another part of it.’ For these soldiers, it’s kill or be killed.”
He continues to narrate the footage play-by-play style, which next shows soldiers clearing out one of the bunkers and uncovering weapons like machine guns and mass amounts of ammunition. The video also features a soldier shooting ahead in order to activate any traps before continuing ahead and throwing a grenade into another bunker.
At this point, the soldiers find someone alive in the bunker and give them the chance to come out alive or die in the bunker, according to Bell. Footage from a drone apparently shows a Russian soldier running away from the bunker and toward their “headquarters,” a bigger enclosed area where they would “hope to have some sanctuary,” according to Bell.
Bell goes on to explain that the Ukrainians have called in tank support in the hopes of flushing the Russian soldiers out of their headquarters, which it does by repeatedly driving over the top of the underground headquarters. Bell describes this as a “really good example of a coordinated attack between the tanks and the infantry in a really confined area,” and leaves viewers with the sobering reminder that skirmishes like this are taking place across Ukraine right now, resulting in thousands upon thousands of casualties.