Screaming in the air and flying low to avoid detection, we watched as Ukrainian jets approached the frontline battle in Severodonetsk.
In recent days, it seems that the atmosphere in Donbas has changed – a sense of urgency, the feeling that the Russians are motivated.
Driving through the towns and villages to the east here, you can’t help noticing a constant stream of farm machinery being delivered back from the areas with the highest drop risk.
Ukraine’s extremely important agricultural sector cannot afford to lose this precious equipment; either stolen or destroyed in this artillery battle.
The continued insistence of all Ukrainian officials, from the president on down, that Ukraine will push Russia out of the country is admirable and to be expected.
But the reality is that the West has not sent enough heavy artillery and equipment that Ukraine needs. What they have is being used up at an amazing rate and they are losing a lot of men every day.
This is what Russia recalculated after their initial strategy.
With a huge supply and no game-changing ammunition, they could easily take down Ukrainian resistance. It’s a reliable strategy, Russia has used it before and it works.
Russia has claimed it controls 97% of the Luhansk region.
Next, its vision will be the Donetsk region, and the important towns and cities of Bakhmut, Slovyansk and Kramatorsk.
The governor of Donetsk, working from the region’s current capital Kramatorsk after the city of Donetsk was seized by Russian-backed separatists in 2014, told me it was unlikely that what the West had promised was very important to stand firm.
“Not only do I assume, I know the quantity of weapons that Ukraine needs, the specific list of weapons provided for heavy artillery, armored fighting vehicles, aviation, air defense systems, systems anti-tank missiles, and the speed at which they are delivered, can affect the quality of the defence,” he told me.
I asked him what would happen if this help did not come.
“It just means we will support our country in time of need and we will not give up any inch of our territory,” he replied sternly.
“And no matter what the future holds for us, we will protect our land.”
In fact, the governor simply said that the war would go on with or without help.
And without a chance of a negotiated ceasefire, the outcome of this could be really bad.
These are difficult and important times for Ukraine right now.