54th Mechanized Brigade: Backing Home
Soldiers of 54th Mechanized Brigade have rest for the first time in eight months
Soldiers of the 54th mechanized brigade came home from the front line for the first time in eight months. They met their relatives in the Kharkiv Region.
Oleksiy Maystrenko is the commander of the 54th bridage. For his subordinates, he is more of an older brother. They have gone through many perils together, liberated dozens of towns and villages and fought everywhere in the Luhansk region.
“You are probably the best soldiers I have ever known. Over the past two years I’ve been fighting together with you we were not nonsensical parade grounds marching or shoveling snow. We don’t have a base. Will towards victory and patriotism is what holds us together,” he said.
And while soldiers are being awarded Liubov Zhurka is looking for her husband. Senior lieutenant Viktor Zhurka has been serving in the operations department of the 54th brigade HQ. Their meetings have been short since 2014. He comes back for short vacations, but in order for his wife Liubov not to be worried, they have a ritual.
“I cannot fall asleep without his goodnight message. If he did not say goodnight to me I start worrying, maybe something happened. But usually, it is because he is working and has no time to use his phone,”
And the moment they have been waiting for so long finally happened. They finally embrace and kiss.
Lieutenant Viktor Zhurka was awarded many times, one of the awards was given personally by the president. He says that military service is his calling. After this short rest, he will go back to the frontlines where he is awaited not only by his brothers in arms but also by his hamster, codename “Little tank”
“Why “Little tank”? He had a hard road to the regiment and it was very hard for him. So I thought that if he can make it then we will come up with some serious name. He made it and we decided we will call him Lil tank,” he said.
Over the last eight months of service, 15 soldiers died defending Ukraine.
Soldiers of the 54th brigade will return home today. They have 30 days to rest. Yet this fall they will come together again to train and return to the frontlines.