Kiev fighters "complain they are exhausted, underequipped and feel like cannon fodder in an increasingly forgotten but still smoldering war," Roman Olearchyk noted in an article titled "Demoralised Ukraine troops start to lose faith in Kiev."
They also criticize Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for failing to visit troops in the war zone and to secure arms deliveries to the fighting front. This being said, the fighters are waiting for weapons produced in Ukraine as much as those coming from the West.
Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk have long pleaded the West to provide lethal arms to Kiev but the majority of countries, including Germany, refused since more weapons would lead to more violence and more victims. Russia is also a staunch advocate of solving the Ukrainian conflict solely through peaceful means.
The disenchantment and anger of Kiev troops denote a sharp change compared to the innamoramento of the first few months after the February 2014 coup and are widespread across the country still plagued by an ongoing civil war, rampant corruption and collapsing economy. Current leadership has repeatedly promised to tackle these issues but has yet to deliver. Meanwhile, the trust in authorities is steadily eroding.
Leaving Ukraine's obvious ailments aside, there is another alarming trend on the horizon.
"Most worryingly for Kiev, many frontline soldiers express admiration for Right Sector, a rightwing militia whose leader last week called for a national no-confidence vote in the government and a new revolution," Olearchyk pointed out.
One of the soldiers the journalist spoke to called Right Sector fighters "our buddies, very brave in battle," adding that "We respect them." Nevertheless, he like others stopped short of saying they support the notorious group and its cause.
Right Sector and other ultranationalist organizations play a key part in Kiev's offensive against independence supporters in eastern Ukraine and are responsible for countless atrocities that have been committed there since April 2014.
The government has never managed to take these groups, which enjoy a significant degree of autonomy, under full control.
In November 2014 the Russian Supreme Court declared Right Sector as an extremist ultranationalist organization and outlawed its activities in Russia.