Daily Life for Ukrainian Soldiers’ in Luhansk Region
Ukrainian soldiers check positions and collect firewood for winter in Shchastia
Collecting firewood for winter, insulating dugouts, and watching militants closely are all part of the daily life of Ukrainian soldiers guarding a strategic settlement in the Luhansk region.
A monument with the inscription ‘Shchastia’ welcomed visitors to the town before hostilities began in the east of Ukraine. Once beautiful, it was heavily damaged by shell fragments.
Shchastia is a strategically important settlement. In Schastia there is a bridge across the Siverskyi Donets river that can be used to reach the occupied territory. There’s also a power station that supplies electricity to the entire Luhansk region. That’s why the city is carefully defended by Ukrainian soldiers.
They say they have not heard shelling from militants for a long time.
“In my opinion, they have some plans for this bridge. This is a strategic object. In addition, they have some plans for the power station. The enemy’s positions are located on the hill there. They are barely visible because this section is complicated and is surrounded by a forest. We can observe from short distances, but we do not see very far. Our task is not to allow the enemy to cross over or destroy the bridge,” Ukrainian soldier Volodymyr said.
The military is constantly strengthening its positions and making them more comfortable. At the observation post, they installed a potbelly stove, a soft couch, a table, and even a floor lamp, which the soldiers prudently covered with a white sheet of paper.
“At night, when there is a need to record something, to see, so that the light does not flicker in the loophole. We covered it a little so that the light is directed only at our table,” said Volodymyr.
The peculiarity of these positions is that they are located deep underground and are completely lined with wood. It is a special world with long passages and two-story constructions. The soldiers made the second floor for the machine gunner.
“The best position is on top. Since I am a machine gunner, I can always have the best view from above,” Ukrainian soldier Dmytro said.
The soldiers stock firewood for when the weather gets cold. They say that it’s not easy to do this — in almost every tree you can find a so-called ‘gift’ by militants.
“There are a lot of fragments and bullets in the trees,” Ukrainian soldier Oleksandr said.
In their spare time, Ukrainian soldiers exercise in an improvised open-air gym to keep fit.
They say their place isn’t in comfortable, warm apartments, not while there is a need to defend the country on the front line.