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Going to the front, how does it feel? The stories of a recruit and an experienced military

Going to the front, how does it feel? The stories of a recruit and an experienced military

Donbas Publis TV journalists talked to Ukrainian militaries who are on the Donbas front in “Donetsk Dialogue” programme. Here are two stories of the end of September. One of them is a story of a recruit, a volunteer from the Poltava region. The other story is of a resident of Slovyansk who liberated his native town from militants and who was in a lot of “hot spots” of the ATO.

“I have no other way out. I came here to defend”

A recruit with the callname “Swede” who is from the Poltava region has been on the front for a week. He explains that he is there because defending the Motherland in the duty of any man.

As I see it the major part of Ukrainian people are indifferent to what is going on in Ukraine. Men are afraid to go to the army; they would rather give a bribe and hide themselves under a “skirt" of excuses — “the war is not mine; when the enemy comes to my home, I would fight", the military says. And he decided that he would go and defend his country, his Poltava region, and his village.

Before the war, he was a village teacher history and geography. Now he is a contract volunteer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. “Karpatska Sich” battalion was not a random choice for him. Here he has a lot of friends. They have been friends since Maidan.

He says that the most difficult thing was to explain his decision to the dearest person, his Mom. “I had been explaining the situation to her for a long time. Three months later she gave up and said, “Do what you think is right, but take care”.

The recruit is decisive, “I have no other way. I came here to defend. I haven't experienced shelling yet; I don't know what my reaction will be. But I am ready to oppose the aggressor. “LPR”, “DPR”, some people say they are republics, but I know for sure: Russia is behind them".

What makes local bear arms?

Volunteer from Slovyansk Yuriy Streltsov has experienced the hell of the war. He defended the settlement of Piski, he was on the approaches to the Donetsk airport, perticipated in the liberation of Maryinka. The events of 2014 in his native town made him take the arms.

"I am from Slovyansk. I was in Slovyansk during the occupation. I went through those horrible events. I wish it would never happen in any other place. The town was dirty; separatists were walking along the streets. After the liberation the city was empty as  a lot of people had left it. The life is gradually getting better now. I went to the front to make it impossibe to be repeated.

Ceasefire at the frontline

Now they are both on the frontline, often under the enemy’s fire. Not a long time ago they have been shelled from “Grads”.

“It was quiet the whole day, and we thought that there was ceasefire. Then, all of a sudden, our positions were directly shelled from the “Grad”. If in the past they had missed the target, that time they hit the target. Luckily, the guys managed to get to the shelter; and they were safe there”, Yuriy Streltsov says.

“It is quiet now", soldiers say. They have felt what ceasefire has been for the last several days.
“Separatists do not shoot at 5. If they do, it is just for several minutes, and I don't think it is shelling as a week ago we were shelled from “Grads" and tanks. Now it is ceasefire”, says Yuriy.

Volunteers are tired of the war, but they are ready to fulfill their duty as long as it takes. And the dialogue is required as the war will end one day. So, politicians should do their job and reach agreements.

“We as militaries fight and curb separatists. Politicians should talk. We hope they will reach agremments . We are bound to win!" Yuriy says."

New service "Explain Ukraine". This is a daily mailout of five articles which were written about the situation in the Donbas by Donbas journalists and translated into English. Honest vision of people who work in the field is unbiased and fresh which is crucial in the world which is full of desinformation and propaganda. We try to share this vision in out daily mailout.  You can subscribe here.

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