Oleksandr Chernenko: Ukrainian soldiers in Crimea feel the government has forgotten about them


1798744_513529208764747_2090815725_nOleksandr Chernenko, Journalist and Chairman of the Election Committee of Ukraine: Soldiers feel the government has forgotten about them

March 8, 2014

We went to the military units and brought cigarettes and things. Although near the units “green men” from Cossack batallions are on duty, you can come up to them.  Moreover, soldiers can easily leave the units, but they are not allowed in again.  Therefore, they do not leave.  At one of the units, they invited us inside and gave us a tour, though taking photographs was forbidden.

Immediately, I feel depressed. I look at these hastily assembled fortifications, the tired boys on guard. In the unit, there are a few dozen women serving.  Despite the situation, March 8th (International Women’s Day) was not cancelled, and they are all in simple and touching makeup.The soldiers are thankful to the people, to the journalists for their support, but you can hear a refrain – that the government has forgotten about them.  The leaders contact them only to find out how the situation is and give them no guidance, except to hold on.

They ask what will happen next – their sources of information are the Russian channel, which they do not trust and one 3G modem, but the mobile connection is constantly jammed.

We tried to sound optimistic but our throats were tight.

The boys want to be heard, to be brave, they quietly talk about their readiness to join the ranks of the Heavenly battalion and one wants to cry when hearing this childish and sincere heroism.  These boys don’t even know the words of the national anthem to the end, and a lot of them have relatives and acquaintances with Russian passports, but to “Glory to Ukraine,” they quietly in a business-like way answer, “Glory to the Heroes.”

Translated by Olena Wawryshyn

Note. The Information Resistance has not long ago published its appeal to the Defense Ministry stating that this situation “is unacceptable. We are waiting for an IMMEDIATE response from the military and political appointees, as well as the military leadership.”

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