For some time, SOFREP has desired a live “boots on the ground” presence in Ukraine. Now we have one. We receive our Russo-Ukraine war information unfiltered, straight from the source. I’ve been working with these brave Americans and Ukrainians for a matter of days to gain information on what life is like in the embattled nation. In just a short time, they have been through quite a wild ride.

This is no game. Since they are in an active war zone and their lives may be in danger for sharing information with us, I’m bound to keep the tightest reigns on Operational Security (OPSEC) and Personal Security (PERSEC) possible. If there are cases where their faces are shown, it is because they have agreed to that.

For the sake of reporting, I’ve given our primary source in country the code name of “Lifeline”. It beats the hell out of the repetition of referring to them as “our source” over and over again.

Who our assets are and exactly where they are located is not as important as what they are doing and how that impacts the people of a nation that has been at war with Russia for over 16 months.

Not in Kansas Anymore

Just a day or two after Lifeline arrived in Ukraine, Russian Kalibr cruise missiles impacted nearby. Through a secure and encrypted message, he relayed to me, “Cruise missiles have a way of waking you up.” That’s quite understated; night turns immediately to day, and it is as if mighty Thor himself has been pounding on the ground.

The day after the strikes, Lifeline walked through the impact area. A residential building was involved, and civilians were killed. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon site in today’s Ukraine.

There is a lot of speculation in the area that a Russian informant gave away the coordinates of a storage facility at a nearby military academy. That structure was struck and annihilated but did not house three challenger tanks as the Russians had claimed. It likely did not contain much of military significance unless you consider spare uniforms and the like to be significant.

Lifeline tells SOFREP that three enemy Shahed drones that fired on the town in late June were likely aiming at the local Security Service of Ukraine, or SBU, building. They are the main intelligence and security agency of the Ukrainian government. One drone managed to do a small amount of damage to the corner of the SBU building, and the other two impacted the ground near a city park.