The Soldier and the Doctor: A story from the front lines

Oleh Dynka, call sign "Yeger" 

Ukraine, War in the Donbas

Article by: Yan Osoka

The pain could be relieved somewhat if he stared at the sky. It would recede deep behind the coping mechanisms of consciousness, gnawing at the spot where the bullet struck. The pain didn’t seem so daunting and consuming if he focused his gaze upon the lazy clouds. He could become nearly oblivious to the hot and sticky liquid flowing from his side.

He looked to the sky: while they carried him on the stretcher, while they ran with him to the ambulance, while he could catch glimpses of little ribbons of blue and white. He looked skyward, coveting within himself what he had left of the warmth of last summer’s suntan, contrasted with the leaves cast about by the wind, the autumn colours of the poplar trees. He longed to retain his memories of summer, to remember, and remember…

He felt the pain once more when they placed him in the ambulance: raging and sharp, biting within and outside his body. Inside the ambulance it was stuffy and tight, with people frantically at work: bandaging the wound, starting an IV, holding his hand, speaking something to him. Their words pushed back the darkness threatening to overwhelm his mind. People’s voices seemed to be echoing from the other side of the earth. They sounded further and further away, but kept repeating the same message: don’t fall asleep, don’t go away, hang on just a little bit longer; voices of reassurance, certain that the ride won’t be much longer, that in no time the surgeons would be taking care of him, and that everything would be just fine.

He made a weak attempt to respond to the voices. Numbness crept slowly around the wound. And from the wound there began to radiate a chill, its tentacles creeping throughout the rest of the body, his muscles, and veins, and thoughts. The sharp pain became dull, pushing him towards a deep fatigue, as if he had just run several kilometres. Meanwhile, the vehicle flew along the road and stopped suddenly in front of the hospital. They carefully removed him from the back, into the building, and raced along the brightly lit corridor towards the operating room.

All this time the voices kept up their sound, calming him down, begging, shouting, crying, promising him that he only needed to endure all this for just a little while longer; they kept telling him that it wouldn’t be long…

Once again he acknowledged the voices. Then, he fell asleep…

Photo gallery of Ukrainian soldiers killed, died or re-buried in September, 2017

The doctor sat outside on the steps, silent as he smoked a cigarette, looking desperately at his shaking hands. He was a young doctor, had already sat on these steps many times before, his hospital scrubs splattered with blood. His habit was to sit quietly, smoke a cigarette, even when his colleagues were out there, too.

There were times he’d become so distracted that the cigarette would just burn in the wind, and he’d be left holding the stub, head bowed, gazing at the ground. His was the stare of a young man who’d already lived the life of an older man.

As he sat, his thoughts returned to the doubts about whether he’d done everything possible, whether he’d made no fatal mistake. Still, it only took a moment, when the heart monitor showed a flat line and the patient didn’t respond to the defibrillator… that moment before entering the operating room, the moment of his biological death. Not only did that split second take the life of the patient lying on the table, it also took one more piece of the doctor’s soul. He had fought to the very end for this man’s life, and lost.


And so the war continues… in the trenches, and in the hospitals, both large and small…. in the ambulances and in the intensive care units. The main weapons now are not only the semi-automatic rifles, but also scalpels and medicines. The enemy can be defeated not only with bullets, but with cunning and speed, by escaping from him with the wounded, compelling the lifeblood to beat once again in the veins of our fighters.

The doctors, nurses and medical personnel responsible for this sector of defence are accomplishing the impossible. Yet even they don’t always succeed. Some wounds are overwhelming, and even a short delay becomes life threatening. Sometimes one’s vital organs are badly damaged. That’s when all that’s left is to come outside on these steps and smoke a cigarette, holding it in hands that fail to obey you; when even men weep and cry; when those who work ceaselessly to save a life prefer to sit alone in a secluded corner, avoiding eye contact with others.

When a great emptiness is felt inside…

When the monotone flat line races across the monitor…

Photo gallery of Ukrainian soldiers killed, died or re-buried in October, 2017


Вічна Пам’ять!  Eternal Memory!

Герої не вмирають!  Heroes Never Die!


Translated by: Jeffrey D. Stephaniuk

Edited by: Christine Chraibi


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  1. Avatar Screwdriver says:

    Oy vey! Hloptsi na ribalku poihali, ..guys just went fishing, and see what happened….Noch dem oreman shlept zikh der shlimazel

    1. Avatar Brent says:

      “Screwball”….these are all brave men fighting for their country’s freedom, not hiding like cowards in America and cleaning toilets and spewing their hateful verbal diarrhea and lies on line like you do

      1. Avatar Screwdriver says:

        Khmelnitsky was a brave man, fighting against polonization for authentic Kievan Rus beliefs
        I hope Zakharchenko will become a new hetman of Ukraine, – will liberate Ukraine from galician zradniks, who betrayed they religion and Russian origin.

        1. Avatar Murf says:

          Your heroes are just a bunch of scum bag traitors who sold out their country for their own political advancement.

          1. Avatar Screwdriver says:

            I bet this is the same line pols were using against Khmelnitsky

          2. Avatar MichaelA says:

            why would it be?
            and why would it matter?
            you cant come up with more than one person in eastern ukraine who wants to be ruled by russia

        2. Avatar MichaelA says:

          zakharchenko just does whatever the kremlin tells him
          so he will never be hetman of anything
          his only talent is obeying orders
          ukrainians of russian origin dont want kremlin rule

          1. Avatar Screwdriver says:

            ukrainians of russian origin dont want kremlin rule

            “Наияснейший, вельможный и преславный царь Московский, а наш многомилостивый государь и добродей.

            …Творец избавитель наш Исус Христос, усилився обид убогих людей и кровавых слез сирот бедных… свободити нас изволил: которую яму ископали было под нами, сами в то впали — что два войска с великими таборы их помог нам господь-бог одолети и трех гетманов живых взяти с иными их сенаторами.

            …Желали бы есми себе самодержца-государя такого в своей земле, как ваша царская велеможность, православный християнской царь; в чем уверяем ваше царское величество, естли бы была на то воля божия, а поспех твой царской — тотчас не медля на государство то наступати, а мы со всем войском запорожским услужить вашей царской велеможности готовы есмя. До которого есми с нижайшими услугами своими, как наприлежнее отдаемся, а имянно: будет вашему царскому величеству слышно, есть ли ляхи сызнова на нас восхотят наступати, в тот же час как скорее поспешайся с своей стороны на них наступати, а мы их за божиею помощью отсель возьмем, и да усправит бог из давных веков глаголанное пророчество, которому мы сами себя вручивши, до милостивых ног вашему царскому величеству яко наунижен но и покорно отдаемся.

            Писан с Черкас, 1648-го, июня в 8 день”
            B. Khmelnitsky

          2. Avatar slavko says:

            Dude, it’s not 1648. After many centuries the year today is 2017. And something that you dredged up from 1648 has no bearing on the matter today, especially when Russia has broken every treaty signed with Ukraine in the past 25 years.

          3. Avatar Screwdriver says:

            Long time ago indeed, but very small changes. Ukraine divided.
            SE , and even many people in central Ukraine stand with Russia and Greek -Orthodox Church, with Moscow patriarchate, while poor victims of polonization – Galicians, western Ukrainian Catholics, flooding internet with they own vision of Ukraine.. That would not be you, no ?

          4. Avatar slavko says:

            If Russia would only mind its own business and stay out of neighbor lands there would be more stability. It’s true that Russia continues to infiltrate its troublemakers into neighboring lands only to provoke and cause separatism.

          5. Avatar Screwdriver says:

            “узкое украинство исключительно продукт, привезенный нам из Галиции, культуру каковой целиком пересаживать нам не имеет никакого смысла: никаких данных на успех нет, и это является просто преступлением, так как там, собственно, и культуры нет.

            Ведь галичане живут объедками от немецкого и польского стола. Уже один язык их ясно это отражает, где на пять слов четыре польского и немецкого происхождения. Я галичан очень уважаю и ценю за то, что они действительно демократы, понимающие, что быть демократом – не значит действовать по-большевистски, как это, к нашему стыду, происходит у нас. У них все-таки есть свой образованный класс, что дает уверенность, что галичане сумеют сохранить свою народность.

            Великороссы и наши украинцы создали общими усилиями русскую науку, русскую литературу, музыку и художество, и отказываться от этого своего высокого и хорошего для того, чтобы взять то убожество, которое нам, украинцам, так наивно любезно предлагают галичане, просто смешно и немыслим”
            Hetman Pavlo Skoropadsky

          6. Avatar slavko says:

            Utter Bool Sh*t. Halych is as Ukrainian as Kyiv and Skoropadsky was a Russian mole.

          7. Avatar Screwdriver says:

            Ukrainian hetman – Russian mole, sure… 🙂
            Zrada is an everyday never ending news in Ukraine …:-)
            “Журналісти обнародували докази російського громадянства мерів Одеси та Добропілля”

          8. Avatar slavko says:

            Glad that you agree Pan Scrotumdriver 😉 you really need to change that moniker.

            But now here’s something else for you to chew on based only on your link… which is proof that Ukraine is NOT a fascist state as you Moskals like to point out. Your link shows that Ukraine has at least 2 Russian citizens that are mayors of 2 Ukrainian cities. Now that can hardly be Russophobic as Russia likes to claim that Ukraine is. In fact, one won’t find Ukrainian citizens that are mayors of Russian cities. Seems to me that Russia is more anti-Ukrainian than Ukraine is anti-Russian. Which of course only points out how Russia is truly a fascist state.

          9. Avatar Screwdriver says:

            talking about the mayors…If Ukraine is not a fascist state, then how come the former but recent mayor of Konotop was an open Nazi, fan of Hitler ?

          10. Avatar slavko says:

            Now don’t deflect from my comment. There are Russian mayors in Ukraine. This makes Ukraine a open and free society to a greater degree than in Russia where there are no Ukrainians as mayors of Russian cities. Why’s that??? A little fascism at play in Russia??? LEt’s face it Ukraine is NOT Russophobic as you Russians keep saying. In fact the truth is that Russia IS Ukrainophobic and takes every opportunity to viciously punish Ukraine. That’s not very nice of not so good ole Rossiya.

          11. Avatar Screwdriver says:

            “as you Russians keep saying”
            First of all, who told you that I am Russian ?
            ” There are Russian mayors in Ukraine.”
            All Ukrainians are Russians, (except maybe some Western “Ukrainians” who heavily mixed with Pols, Jews, Hungarians, etc) so this is normal.
            And I never stated that Ukraine is “Russophobic”, this is nonsense. Galicians are mostly Russo-phobic, but they do not represent entire Ukraine.
            Of course we can not judge entire Ukraine based on 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS – Galizina , or some crazy members of “Svoboda”, …..but unfortunately current Kiev regime is Nazi friendly. And I am not blaming Ukraine for those who hijacked the country.

          12. Avatar slavko says:

            Now you are making sh*t up. I guess scrotum licking is getting to your head. Halych is a very old Ukrainian area that is a part of Kyivan Rus’. Unlike the borderlands of Kyivan Rus’ now known as Moskva that was more the badlands and still is.

          13. Avatar Screwdriver says:

            I did not say anything how old or young Galicia is, it is irrelevant to what I wrote.

          14. Avatar slavko says:

            //”I did not say anything how old or young Galicia is, it is irrelevant to what I wrote.”//

            you are irrelevant as you change the topic like a dog wags a tail!

          15. Avatar slavko says:

            There are Ukrainians also known as Ruthenians that were previously known as Rus’.
            Then there are the Moskal that by the power of the Golden Horde oppressed the Slavic people and collected tribute money from the poor and split it up with the Horde. Then later the Moskal STOLE the name Rossiya from the Kyivan Rus’. You see this is a part of what you call Russian history. Ukrainian history starts with Kyivan Rus’. “Russian” history starts with the Moskal in the swamps of Moskva. I believe that the name Moskva is derived from a Finnish word meaning stinky river. Those that you call “Galicians” are the Halychyny and they are Ukrainian as much as those from Kyiv. But the Moskal is a different breed altogether but akin to the Golden Horde. But I think that the Golden Horde was more humane than the “Russian” today.

          16. Avatar Screwdriver says:

            “There are Ukrainians also known as Ruthenians that were previously known as Rus”.
            Yes there are Rithenians, they are Russians also, so what ?
            “Then later the Moskal STOLE the name Rossiya from the Kyivan Rus”
            Typical Galician made myth, 🙂 When exactly it was stolen, what year ? 🙂
            “Russian” history starts with the Moskal in the swamps of Moskva”
            Not true, Russian history also is Kiev, Novgorod, Vladimir-Zuzdal, Tver, Ryazan..etc..etc
            “But the Moskal is a different breed altogether but akin to the Golden Horde”
            Golden Horder influenced all parts of Russia, including Kiev.
            Western parts of today’s Ukraine suffered a lot from Crimean Tatars, who were part of Golden Horder for a very long time.

          17. Avatar slavko says:

            You conveniently forget that the founder of Moskva left Kyiv in a huff. That broke the connection especially after he and then his son repeatedly attacked Kyiv. This IS history. So therefore Muscovy (Russian )history has its roots from there only, not Kyiv. The Moskal broke the connection with Kyiv when the Moskal attacked Kyiv which put the Moskal (Muscovite) in the same basket as the Golden Horde later on, as vicious barbarians. Kyivan Rus abhorred him and were thankful that he died. Then his son did the same sh*t and continued to attack Kyiv because this would have meant having the crown jewel. This is NOT myth, this is history that you conveniently ignore. From that time forward until this very day the Moskal continues in the same tradition of attacking the lands of Kyiv.

          18. Avatar Screwdriver says:

            Nonsense. Kievan (and Novgorod) princes were fighting and killing they own families long before Moscow.

          19. Avatar slavko says:

            You cannot dismiss so easily the history between Kyiv and Moskva. Facts are facts and when the founder of Moscow broke rank with Kyiv the animosity started. Moscow has always wanted to control Kyiv because Moscow knows that Kyiv will never belong to Moscow. That is the proper order. Those who left… are gone. Those who stayed have Kyiv.

          20. Avatar Screwdriver says:

            Moscow rulers were not any different or foreign, they from the same Rurik dynasty until Romanov’s, 17th century.
            Many different cities were fighting each other , you take Italy, Germany ( with almost 200 different independent towns/states in medieval times) and many other countries.
            If you give a black eye to your mother in law, she is still a family.
            And like I said before, Kievan princes were fighting each other long before Moscow, so your “argument” does not set to fly to begin with.

          21. Avatar slavko says:

            You are deflecting again from the truth. Those who left… have Moscow. Those who stayed have Kyiv.

            And the days of coveting the neighbor’s lands are done with the exception of Moscow, the biggest and greediest wh0re of them all!

          22. Avatar Screwdriver says:

            “Those who left… have Moscow.” Who ” left” ? 🙂 Prince Dolgorukiy left, but he came back, he died in Kiev. Who else you referring to ?
            If Kiev prince moves to another city, he is not Russian anymore ? 🙂
            If you, for example, moved from Ternopil to Toronto, you not “Ukrainian” no more ?

          23. Avatar slavko says:

            You know better but you act stupid! Dolgorukiy may have died in Kyiv but his grave is empty. It was most probably fed to the dogs for the barbarity he showed to his own people. Hence he is no longer of his own people for the ugliness of Moscow raiding Kyiv that he started continues as tradition until today!

          24. Avatar Screwdriver says:

            “Dolgorukiy may have died in Kyiv but his grave is empty. It was most probably fed to the dogs for the barbarity he showed to his own people.”
            Barbarity was very normal in 12th century.
            ….But anyhow Kiev was in decline in 12th century for many different reasons, Moscow was not really one of them, the main problem was the rival of different neighbors, decline of the trade route from Constantinople, and wars with Polovtsi.
            North-Eastern lands were more protective, and started to rise.

          25. Avatar slavko says:

            Well then after Dolgorukiy died, the people of Kyiv and surrounding areas rejoiced. But then his son Andrij Boholubskiy came to town and devastated Kyiv, raided the churches, stole art works…
            So you see that this IS History… documented history. This is also part of the root of the Moskal that those in Kyiv could not believe that one of their own would do such a thing. Boholubsky weakened Kyiv to the point that Kyiv later fell to the Golden Horde. This IS the legacy of Moscow. This IS the treachery of Moscow as it continues till today.

          26. Avatar Screwdriver says:

            Prince Igor was fighting and killing all over the place, long before Moscow, and was killed while he was robbing the Drevlyans.
            Princes, brothers Oleg and Yaropolk were fighting each other long before Moscow, Yaropolk killed Oleg.
            Prince Vladimir came to Kiev from Novgorod and killed Yaropolk. Then he killed thousands of Russians (they were not Ukrainians yet, sorry) during Christianization, long before Moscow.
            Maybe because he was a Moskal from Novgorod, even that it was long before Moscow ???

          27. Avatar slavko says:

            None of that of which you speak weakened Kyiv. However, the Moskal clan purposefully weakened Kyiv in order to dominate the Slavic world. The Moskal went contrary to the Rurikid plan. And later allowed for a deeper penetration of the Horde into Europe.

            Moskva forgot the Slavic association with Rurik. Rurik was invited by the Slavs to help them organize without political struggles. And Moskva went against all that by attacking Kyiv which Rurik had made the center of the Slavic world for the Slavs to live peacefully. Those were the documented arrangements. Yes there were squabbles, but they were quieting down especially later with Yaroslav Mudriy at the helm. Then Dolgorukiy screwed it all up! His own father basically banished him to Wolodomyr-Suzdal the area of Moscow today. And the Russians adore Dolgorukiy for being an obstinate prick!!

          28. Avatar Screwdriver says:

            “None of that of which you speak weakened Kyiv. However, the Moskal clan purposefully weakened Kyiv”
            What a kasha. 🙂 Take any western history book, – Kiev decline started BEFORE Moscow.

          29. Avatar MichaelA says:

            then why are you arguing?
            all you care about is russian imperialism
            too bad
            ukraine rejected it
            and ukrainians were prepared to pay the price in blood for freedom

          30. Avatar MichaelA says:

            how come most members of the russian elite are open nazis
            fans of hitler?

          31. Avatar MichaelA says:

            so what?
            lots of people in ukraine have russian citizenship
            remember russia treated ukraine as its colony up until 2014
            what does this have to do with fact that most people in eastern ukraine want nothing to do with russia?

          32. Avatar MichaelA says:

            so you still cant come up with anyone from eastern ukraine who actually wants russian rule?
            okay then

          33. Avatar MichaelA says:

            no not many people in central ukraine
            and not many people in eastern ukraine
            hardly anyone wants russian rule
            thats why the russian attempt to start an uprising failed in 2014
            nobody wanted it

          34. Avatar slavko says:

            The guy who admitted starting the supposed uprising in Donbas, Igor Strelkov, a Russian FSB officer, made a statement that he needed more people from Russia in Donbas to make that takeover absolutely successful. Which actually confirms your statement that the local population of Donbas prefers to be with Ukrainian government rather than a Russian one.

          35. Avatar Rafael Hernandez says:

            Hardly, when the average Ukrainian has 2400$GDP while Poroshenko, Yatsenyuk, Avakov and Parubiy have over 1 million dollar

          36. Avatar slavko says:

            What does your comment have anything to do with what I wrote? You are deflecting!

            But since you bring that up… and I’m glad that you did…
            Answer this: what is the avg Russian person’s GDP and compare that to the BILLIONS the Russian oligarch has and controls the Kremlin national policies.

          37. Avatar MichaelA says:

            true slavko and that is just in donetsk
            in 2014 fsb tried to start uprisings all through eastern ukraine
            hardly anybody was interested

          38. Avatar Screwdriver says:

            Few centuries later :
            “I would say 85% of people in the Donbass dream about the Soviet Union,” says Tuka, who has also served as a volunteer soldier and as the governor of Kiev-controlled territory in the region. “An entire generation has been raised with this kind of perspective.”

          39. Avatar slavko says:

            Yeah there are now more Russians that have overrun Donbas seeking to destabilize and carry out Putin’s dream of a new Russian Empire to replace the last one called the Soviet Union.

          40. Avatar MichaelA says:

            in other words you know nothing about people who live in eastern ukraine
            thats why putins takeover attempt in 2014 failed
            the people rejected it
            right across eastern ukraine

          41. Avatar Screwdriver says:

            Tuka said it – Kiev regime appointed governor of Donbass.

          42. Avatar MichaelA says:

            yes kremlin sympathisers still hold positions of power in ukraine
            but i was talking about the people
            the people of eastern ukraine rejected putins attempt to takeover
            thats why putin failed

          43. Avatar Screwdriver says:

            “but i was talking about the people ”
            What a coincidence! Tuka was talking about the people too!

          44. Avatar MichaelA says:

            no he wasnt and neither were you
            kremlin sympathisers still hold positions of power in ukraine
            but i was talking about the people
            the people of eastern ukraine rejected putins attempt to takeover
            thats why putin failed

          45. Avatar MichaelA says:

            Correct, Ukrainians of Russian origin don’t want Kremlin rule.

            And they realise how naive Khmelnitsky was. Thanks for agreeing.

    2. Avatar zorbatheturk says:

      Farkov you scumsucking cnut.

  2. Avatar veth says:

    Screwdriver: 5000 Russian Army soldiers are killed in Donbass so far……………..

    1. Avatar Screwdriver says:

      Nothing from UNIAN today ?

      1. Avatar MichaelA says:

        why would there be?
        do you think unian is the only ukrainian media?
        you need to learn something about ukraine
        why not visit it?

  3. Avatar zorbatheturk says:

    Ukrainians need to get the RuSSian menace off their backs once and for all.