You’re being shelled while sitting in a trench and thinking “Will I get out of this alive?” – Mykyta, soldier of the 72nd brigade


War in Donbas

Very bitter story by a young guy who just came from the war zone at the Ukrainian-Russian border.

“The Russians showered us with artillery shells, using Grad systems that were stationed on their territory. There was a time when artillery shells flew at us from four different directions. The toughest day was when the shelling lasted for 5 or 6 hours, with intervals between rounds of artillery fire lasting only 30-40 seconds, maybe some up to 1 minute, but not longer.

When it’s that bad, imagine – a soldier cannot even have a bathroom break outside of his trench, because splinters from exploding shells fly all around. And we could not do anything – we had no artillery of our own. I am a professional grenade launcher, and I probably launched something like 24 grenades, but I doubt whether it was useful. Before this shelling would start, a Russian scout plane flew over our heads, correcting the Russian artillery, giving directions, where exactly to fire.

I saw a shell knocking out a post that held wires – a nearby village was immediately deprived of electricity. I also saw wounded, many wounded, some with their feet torn off. Something must be done differently, or we all will be slaughtered. Supplies were meager, too. There were days when we were fed only once a day, each soldier given a plate with watery soup, and that was all. Once, they brought us some cans with condensed milk, and that was a real feast, we felt like we were stuffing ourselves full with this milk.

Also, one of our soldiers would run, under fire, to the nearby village, and buy cigarettes there; we could exchange cigarettes for some food during short moments of our communication with a neighboring army unit, if they were lucky and had any surplus. We drank water from metal buckets and it was like this (shows a puddle of water on the ground). So, I don’t know how we survived. All we thought about was only to survive. When these Grads are firing and you are in your trench, all you can do is hope that you will survive, and pray. Personally, I sometimes recited a prayer something like 30 times.”

translated by George V. Pinchuk 

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