June 23, 2015
Translated by Kristina Rus
-What is your call sign?
– Call sign But
– You are serving at the 31st checkpoint. What is the situation?
– The situation is calm from our side, and not so calm from their side. Constant shelling, provocations. I personally was shelled three times, during my shift, from AGS, machine gun.
– When you were on the frontline in Bakhmutka?
– Yes. Everyone is alive.
– What kind of troops are you facing?
– UAF, Ukrainian armed forces. At the front they mostly have the conscripts [cannon fodder – KR], whom they are pushing towards us. Behind them are “zagrad” units, from Aidar, Azov, the Poles on the left side. Will show you, when we catch them.
– What kind of caliber do they use?
– AGS, Ptur, SPG, 120 mm mortar. We are on a height, so the wind blows the shells away, they don’t hit us.
– Before the war what did you do?
– I worked in retail, travel agency manager.
– So had nothing to do with war?
– Never been in the army. My grandpa fought in Lugansk during WWII, may be somewhere around here, as a pilot. Went to the same military academy with Vasily Stalin. I think they spilled their blood, and we simply surrendered this territory to people who could not safeguard it. History repeats itself. My father fought during the cold war, pilot of long-range strategic aviation, deputy colonel.
– So for you it’s a matter of honor?
– I used to live here until 1991, in Western Ukraine, there was a base of strategic aviation. Our leadership simply surrendered everything without a fight, planes with strategic nuclear weapons. We lost our potential, and NATO pushed East. Slowly but surely we will go back, and get back what used to be ours. For what our grandfathers fought and spilled their blood. I think it’s everyone’s duty to come here and not only to fight, but to help with humanitarian aid, dig trenches. To volunteer. There is a lot of work at warehouses, loading mines, for example. There is enough work, not just running around with guns. We need IT people, professionals.
– What does your family think about you being here?
– They all support me, said they are proud of me. I want to say hello to mom, dad, my two brothers, two sisters, nephews, aunts, uncles. I have a big family. Hello to everyone who knows me!