Pte Lysenko’s unit is defending the town of Avdiivka, in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, with only 20 men.
The company began the summer with 120 men, many of whom are now dead, wounded or have been transferred away from the front line.
Among the 20 remaining are several replacements, most of whom are more than 40 years old, according to Pte Lysenko.
“We’re still motivated, but we’re exhausted,” Pte Oleksandr Siergeichikov, who has been defending Avdiivka since the spring of 2022 with Ukraine’s 110th Mechanized Brigade, told the WSJ.
Avdiivka, which lies about 16 miles from the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk, is surrounded by Russian-held territory to the north, east and south.
Once home to some 30,000 people, the town has been on the front line of the war since Russia’s initial 2014 Donbas invasion.
Russia has a population more than three times the size of Ukraine, meaning that it can strategically afford to lose thousands of soldiers to make marginal gains before replacing them.