Born independent: youngest council member in the Luhansk Oblast

New Ukraine, War in the Donbas

25-year-old Mykyta Shevchenko is the youngest councilmember in the Luhansk Oblast. He is not afraid to take responsibility. Mykyta is the head of the Troyitske military and civil administration, and is in control of 2 front-line villages: Troyitske and Novozvanivka. 

The clock shows almost 6 am. This is time when Mykyta usually gets up. He starts each day with morning exercises and hot coffee.

“For today, I have plans to go to Troyitske, to talk with the regional community, ask what problems they have, and check the housing facilities that are being repaired by our partners from the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA),” Mykyta Shevchenko, head of Troitske Military and Civil Administration said.

Shevchenko lives in Lysychansk. He manages to balance the work of the head of the military and civil administration, with his post of deputy of the Lysychansk city council.

“First I worked as a deputy head from 2016. Then the predecessor resigned and I replaced him,” Shevchenko said.

It takes him 1.5 hours to get to Troyitske. The road is not only long but laden with difficulties.

“People face problems every day – they drive on bad roads and damage their vehicles. I would like to change it. I would like to improve the lives of people. Well, I also want militants to stop shellings, so that people can calmly milk the cows, raise them for meat to sell” Shevchenko said.

The working day for Shevchenko starts at 8 a.m. and his schedule is often erratic. Each day he signs passes for entry of people who do not live in Troyitske.

“Troyitske falls under the red zone. This is the confrontation line. Here the entry is limited to people who do not reside on this territory, do not have property, their relatives are not buried there. So, in fact, they are banned from entering. For example, a granddaughter comes to her grandmother and we issue necessary documents for her. A person legally presents a pass and passport data at the checkpoint and officially enters the territory,” Shevchenko said.

From there to the position of the militants, there are only 4 kilometers. There is a school where 43 pupils will sit at the school desks on September 1st. Nearly 700 people live in the frontline Troitske.

The local residents speak positively about the young leader. They say that his youth does not bother them. Locals like the way he copes with his duties.

“He supports people all the time. He constantly takes care of them. If volunteer organizations come here, he can hold them, show who needs their assistance. There is always support,” Tetiana, a resident of Troitske said.

Restoration of damaged roofs and repair of roads are the main problem the young leader must face. His work primarily involves solving these issues, as well as communication with local people.

Every evening, Shevchenko’s 9-year-old sister looks forward to her brother returning home from work.

“My brother heads the village and I’m proud of him,” his sister, Anastasiia said.

At 11 p.m. Shevchenko goes to bed. He sets an alarm and makes plans for the next day. In order to continue his work improving the lives of civilians living in the conflict zone.

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