• A new video shows Ukraine's special forces navigating enemy fire to transport reinforcements to Chasiv Yar.
  • The Kraken unit, formed by Azov Brigade veterans, has become one of the country's best-known units.
  • Russia has stepped up its attacks on Chasiv Yar, a strategic hilltop town in the east of Ukraine.

One of Ukraine's special forces units has revealed what it takes to replenish frontline troops under constant enemy shelling.

In a new video posted on Telegram by the Kraken regiment, a special forces unit in the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine, appear to be driving a light tactical vehicle along dirt tracks, navigating enemy fire and mortar attacks as they go.

A caption accompanying the video reads: "Maneuvering in difficult conditions under constant enemy artillery fire, [the Kraken regiment is] responsible for the personnel and fire support for the units in Chasiv Yar."

Kraken unit navigates enemy shelling as it transports troops to the front in Chasiv Yar Foto: Kraken Telegram

Business Insider was unable to independently verify the video's content, though Ukraine's Defense Ministry confirmed that it was taken in Chasiv Yar, a strategic town on elevated ground that has been relentlessly attacked by Russian forces in recent months.

According to The Washington Post, the Kraken Regiment, which has become one of Ukraine's better-known volunteer forces, was formed by Azov Brigade veterans on the day Russia invaded Ukraine. The Azov unit became known worldwide in 2022 for its heroic stand inside the Azovstal steel complex in the port city of Mariupol.

Like the Azov fighters, whose name comes from the Sea of Azov, the regiment's name and insignia evoke the mythical sea monster, the Kraken, which resembles a giant squid.

Militarnyi reports that the vehicle in the video is a Turkish-made Cobra II.

The manufacturer, Otokar, describes the Cobra II as a "4×4 Tactical Wheeled Armored Vehicle."

Its modular platform has superior technical and tactical characteristics, allowing the vehicle to maneuver easily across difficult terrain.

"COBRA II provides higher ballistic and mine protection, increased payload capacity and internal volume," the description reads.

Kraken unit navigates enemy mortar attacks as it transports reinforcements to the front line in Chasiv Yar Foto: Kraken Telegram

Chasiv Yar and surrounding areas have become highly contested in recent weeks as Russia steps up its offensive in the east, as well as launching a second front in the northern Kharkiv region.

The Washington DC-based think tank the Institute for the Study of War said in its latest update that Russian forces had "intensified their effort" to seize Chasiv Yar, seeking to "exploit how Russian offensive operations in northern Kharkiv Oblast and ongoing offensive operations throughout eastern Ukraine have generated greater theater-wide pressure on Ukrainian forces."

In response to Russia's increased attacks, Ukrainian forces have transferred elements of a Ukrainian brigade defending in the Chasiv Yar area to the Vovchansk area, which has also come under increased fire, the ISW reports.

As a result, "Russian forces have likely intensified offensive operations near Chasiv Yar to quickly take advantage of weakened Ukrainian defenses."

A breakthrough in the frontline is most likely to come in Chasiv Yar, "where Russian forces have the most immediate prospects for an operationally significant advance." The front west of Avdiivka, the town that fell to Russia in February, is also a possibility.

One of Ukraine's top intelligence officials said earlier this month that Chasiv Yar was very likely to fall to Russian forces.

"Not today or tomorrow, of course, but all depending on our reserves and supplies," said Major-General Vadym Skibitsky, the deputy head of military intelligence.

In his nightly address on Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked soldiers who successfully repelled a Russian assault on Chasiv Yar.

"Our warriors destroyed more than twenty armored vehicles of the occupier. Well done, guys!" he said.

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