At the checkpoint of Uspenka, Russians tried to deploy “Peacemaking subdivisions”
For me war started when I was battalion commander of the 25th brigade and got the task to protect the state border in Amvrosiyivka in March, 2014.
At the checkpoint of Uspenka — it’s the shortest way from the Russian border to Donetsk, Russians tried to deploy “peacemaking subdivisions”.
We got the task to prevent the enemy's troops from enter. Then I understood what information war is.
Just imagine: 15-20 correspondents of Russian mass-media stand in one row and 4-5 clowns try to produce an impression on these journalists, that mass of people didn't allow the vehicles to move and started jumping under the caterpillars. It was a small group of people, but the picture created was that the whole Donetsk stood before us to prevent us from moving.
We tried to act decisively. We stopped in Amvrosiyivka and chose the area for defense.
Half-volunteers, well-wishers, former Afghan servicemen and Chernobyl liquidators came to us to explore what we were ready for. They asked, "But if Russian peacemakers come?" I said, “Then you will just say the “peacemakers” “Adios muchachos”. They thought that it was only me who thought so. They began to ask soldiers at the checkpoint who answered, "Let them come".
Perhaps, it was a restraining factor.
While we stood at the border, other subdivisions liberated Slovyansk. It was relatively calm in our direction.
At that time there was some indecision in our actions. I supposed that the enemy was alongside weapon, border, but there was the police and the Security Service of Ukraine who had to deal with them; it was not my business.
We tried to understand when we could interfere in and when – not.
I decided to deploy posts. There was information that Russians were near the border, crossing it from time to time.
Do you remember a bearded separatist, Babai? He tried to get to Russia for treatment after being wounded. But we deployed posts, unexpectedly for them. And they came across us. There were 3 companies; we met and punished them.
They did not understand who we were and how many of us, they hurried away.
Then we thrashed them well, and not less than 7 persons were killed, and about 10 of them were wounded, separatists had a narrow escape. They could not take out Babay through our posts.
Then our first battalion went ahead along the border, to Zelenopillya.
We did not sleep in tents, as we knew that they would use Grad. I personally slept at a depth of 1,2 m or 1,3 m . It was like a tomb; from above there were tarpaulin and a tent because it was raining. Water leaked there, but we were below the ground level.
The next subunit, which came to change us, had no luck – they were fired with "Grad", and it was the first large loss.
(As a result of the militants' attack of the ATO position near Zelenopillya, from the side of Russian Federation’s border, in the morning July11, 2014, 19 servicemen were killed and 93 got wound UT)
When we rotated to restore our combat effectiveness; we had already been in ATO zone for almost 4 month.
At that time, in the frontier areas, Russia was attacking intensively.
I had already known that those, who were left there (72d, 79-th brigades – UT), practically were surrounded; therefore, we had to bring us up faster.
I was sure that we would go there to meet them. So, it happened.
We succeeded to survive owing to our reconnaissance
On about July 20, 2014, we had a raid through Debaltseve to Shakhtarsk, then to Savur-Mohyla.
We went first, and the 95th brigade followed us. It is impposible to say that we made some corridor. We broke through and others followed us all the time. The 95th brigade went and broke through again.
We began to move from the side of Artemivsk, went round Debaltseve (it was not free at that moment), passed Nekyshyne and Kamyanka.
We went from the north to the eastern part of Shakhtarsk and then moved to the southern part. I had information that separatists from Shakhtarsk had not less than a thousand of fighters, from Kuteynykove, Ilovaisk, and Khartsyzk. There we captured about 10 separatists who confirmed it.
I think that the person who was planning our raid, had only two variants: if it was successful, I would reach Savur-Mohyla at once and create conditions to set free the 79th brigade. The second variant: I had to lead away the enemy troops and give an opportunity for the 95th brigade to secure the troops' got out of the encirclement; that was the reason why the 95th brigade followed us.
The second variant worked. The 95th brigade came round me and seized Savur-Mohyla for the first time; it secured the exit of the 79th brigade from the encirclement.
They did the main task. We went across the area occupied by militants, and stopped to have a rest; we even slept there. To say honestly, we were not even hungry, either because of the heat or nervousness, and we had to force ourselves – we went through the enemy’s rear.
Is it difficult for you to imagine how we survived? Mostly, owing to our I had Emil. He went ahead with his group. Only on the way to Shakhtarsk they discovered three enemy’s ambushes.
Owing to him we are live.
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