In eastern Ukraine, where another grueling winter is descending — along with it a likely freeze in major frontline movements — one Ukrainian soldier had a grim assessment of the conflict.

The 35-year-old fighting near the war-battered town of Bakhmut went further than comments from Ukraine's most senior military official, who conceded this week that the war with Russia had reached a stalemate.

"I've been saying that for some time now already. Step by step we're losing the war," said the serviceman, who uses the call sign "Mudryi" (Wise).