Article by: Halyna Tereshchuk
It is unlikely that anyone will remain impartial to the story about a military engineer, Frantsuz (‘Frenchman’ in Ukrainian), who calls himself a normal person. The fighter diffused hundreds of points, neutralized a big number of grenades. His work is “silent death,” says one of the authors of the book, ATO officer, Taras Hren. Frantsuz’s photograph is now printed on official Ukrainian postcards.
“He serves, to him, his photo on postcards and the story in the book were a surprise. He is the best military engineer in the Ukrainian Armed Forces. This person stopped the advance of the Russian army near Mariupol, diffused the bridges when we advanced towards Donbas. The fact that we took Lysychansk with small losses is his merit. He set up minefields in open sight, so that people could escape. He is a legendary warrior and he will become an example for the schoolchildren. The bounty on his head back in the fall was 30 thousand dollars. ‘Comrade’ Kadyrov’ doubled the price if he were to be delivered to Chechnya,” said Taras Hren.
Stories about paratrooper Anton Voloshyn, sergeant Oleksandr Horokh, lieutenant Anton Mahliovany, Anton Volonok. The list is long, it will keep on growing as long as the military situation in Donbas continues. Captain Oleksandr Petrakivsky gave his kevlar helmet to his subordinate who had lost his own, thus saving his life in battle. After the battle, the fighter counted seven hits on the captain’s helmet. Oleksandr Petrakivsky himself was wounded in the head.
Another author of the book, officer Volodymyr Skorostetsky, would have never thought that there were so many heroes living nearby. Regular young men who did not stand out in any way in civilian life turned out to be real heroes. Volodymyr himself recently returned from the East.
“All the soldiers are giving all they have to end this war with Ukraine’s victory. This book is the first, a documentary aimed to cultivate a patriotic generation, so that the children grow up knowing what country they were living in. We need literature about real people, of which there are many on the front. Many of our people who live far fro the front have no understanding of what is happening here. This book is called to show the depth of their heroism to the people,” says Volodymyr Skorostetsky.
The compilation includes also the tales of the soldiers who died but whose memory remained. Kostyantyn Mohylko died in an airplane, having saved thousands of people. Taras Seniuk, a merit student in school, died in action from a sniper’s bullet. Twenty-three-year-old sergeant Yevhen Zelensky, Vasyl Vovk, Dmytro Shkarbun, other fighters who gave their lives for the country.
The book is only the beginning, its authors are convinced, as they think such things are very necessary nowadays. The Ukrainian fighters deserve to be known, to have books and films made about them.