Soldier Volodymyr defending Avdiyivka: Zero tolerance for Russian proxies!


More, Ukraine, War in Donbas

Translated by: Christine Chraibi

47-year-old Volodymyr (nom-de-guerre “Scout”), soldier in the Zoloti Vorota Battalion spoke with His battalion is deployed near Avdiyivka, Donetsk Oblast, one of the hottest points in the ongoing war:

“Those Russian-backed militants provoke us daily, and we must respond aggressively and with zero tolerance. We’re ready to fight. Nobody’s sitting back… We can move into our positions very quickly. We’re all well trained and highly motivated. Our ancestors left this land to us, and we’ll defend it. It’s easier for us because we’re in our country. But, not everyone can sit in a trench for three years in a row… it’s hard! Most of the guys in our battalion are volunteers who’ve been fighting since 2014.”

“We should open fire in response, drive them back aggressively and punish them accordingly. If they launch one mortar shell, we should send ten in response! Yes, we obey orders according to truce agreements, but we must remain undaunted and inflexible despite their provocations! Let’s not react like we did in 2014 – we launch three mortars, they answer with ten and we fire back one! It would be better if we had good weapons, more equipment and freedom to act.”

According to Volodymyr, Ukrainian soldiers are tired of trench warfare.

“We have to do something! This is not ATO (anti-terrorist operation), but trench warfare. Any soldier will tell you this. They sit over there, and we sit over here… and, we keep throwing things at each other. It’s like a military exercise.”

Video in Russian (4:24 min)

“We’ve got enough men to launch an offensive. But, how will the third party react? [Putin-Ed.] If we sit back, nothing will happen. We must take back our land and our borders. Yes, there will be a war, so what else did you expect? Do you want to sit around? Count the dead and wounded every day? You want the right statistics? Just multiply daily casualties by 30 days and 12 months. So, should we continue to sit around? We’re actually acting as border guards; we pile up sandbags and dig deeper trenches as there are no real border guards. They’re afraid of marking and patrolling the borders, coming into the grey zone. It’s a disgrace!”

A recent video shows Ukrainian forces successfully fighting off Russian proxies in the industrial zone of Avdiyivka. Enemy troops did not respect the May 9 holiday ceasefire, and moved in closer to Ukrainian positions. These Ukrainian fighters are being shelled non-stop until the early hours of the morning. Russia uses gaps in the 400-kilometre-long border to supply weapons, equipment, money and ammunition to “local militants” and to deploy its military units, whose soldiers somehow and sometimes “get lost” in the Donbas steppes…

Video in Ukrainian (8:50 min)



Translated by: Christine Chraibi

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