Ukrainian troops say they are being confronted by terrifying Russian "zombie waves" on the battlefield, according to the latest reports from the frontline.
Colin Freeman of The Telegraph newspaper told Forces News the fighting in Bakhmut, in eastern Ukraine, is "very, very intense combat".
Speaking on the BFBS Radio Sitrep podcast, he explained: "You just get the Russian troops, often they speculate, being conscripts for the Wagner mercenary group, mounting pretty much blind charges where the level of recklessness suggests either that they're on drugs or amphetamines or something, which is one explanation that's often given.
"Or that they are mindful that if they successfully carry out the storming of a trench or something like that and get a, kind of, mention in dispatches, it may well assist with them getting a pardon."
When asked how the Ukrainian troops are handling it, he said: "I think they find it quite psychologically unnerving, apparently.
"When you get these so-called zombie waves of people charging blindly at you, trying to overrun your positions, a lot of the time, they're relatively easy to pick off, although not that easy, I don't think.
"They're not observing normal military tactics of trying to take cover and only advancing when they have covering fire from their own comrades beside them or behind them."
Mr Freeman told Forces News that despite the Ukrainians finding it "relatively easy" to "pick them off", there is a fear they may become overrun.
"Because these zombie waves are almost nonstop, it means that they're firing their weapons for a long time. There's a risk of the barrel of the weapon, if it's something like a machine gun, getting really hot, therefore less easy to use," he added.
"And they're scared that if at some point, they have to pause to reload, that will be the point at which they may get overwhelmed."
What is happening in Bakhmut?
Russian forces are reportedly attempting to encircle Bakhmut in a bid to cut supply lines to the city and force the Ukrainian military to withdraw.
Becoming a frontline city in May 2022, Bakhmut has been the site of intense fighting and heavy bombardment.
Capturing Bakhmut would give Russia its first major gain in six months and solidify its stronghold on the Donetsk region.
After trying to occupy the industrial city of Bakhmut for more than six months, Russian forces have intensified the fighting.
According to Reuters, the fighting is taking place in muddy conditions known as 'rasputitsa' – or the spring thaw – which sees trenches turn into muddy rivers.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned that the situation around Bakhmut is becoming increasingly difficult.