General Nikoliuk: Head of Modern Ukrainian Military Training Center
General Viktor Nikoliuk was the commander of the 92nd Brigade and has fought in some of Ukraine's toughest battles. He even commanded an operation that resulted in the capture of soldiers of Russia's special forces. Now he devotes himself to perfecting the Ukrainian Military training system
“Good morning! So, is it working out?” the Head of the Desna training center checks the skills of young instructors. He gathered the best of the course.
“This is a bomb. Take a look,” Chief of the Training Center Viktor Nikoliuk comments on the exercise results.
“They made the explanation so easy and simple that you understand everything. And you get joy out of your work,” Ukrainian soldier Tetiana said.
Here soldiers from all over Ukraine receive military specialties. The head of the training center checks training locations daily. This is a school for snipers. There are none that can match it in Ukraine. Another reason for their pride, is the virtual training system for tankers: it simulates any terrain or battle conditions. It has everything necessary to train tank crews for the most unpredictable situations.
“Ahead of him is a segment of terrain that the system can submerge under water. So the tank crew has prepared, use a special exhaust line and all of that. Otherwise, it will not pass through,” Nikoliuk said.
Nikolyuk became the head of this training center two years ago. Since then, he has been constantly changing the outdated training system for the army, because he knows how modern warfare differs from the old textbooks. Victor Nikololyuk commanded the legendary 92nd brigade.
“Our area of responsibility was 88 kilometers long and 70 km deep,” Nikoliuk said.
Nikoliuk says that the most interesting opponent his brigade had to fight were Russian special forces.
“The fights would take from 2.5 to 4.5 hours. It’s always interesting to predict opponents’ movements ahead of time. That is how you outplay them,” he added.
The 92nd brigade, under his command, was the one that got the first living proof of Russian invasion: soldiers of the 3rd special forces brigade based in the Russian city of Tolyatti — Aleksandrov, and Erofeev.
Nikoliuk’s callsign was “Veter” which means wind. He was well known among soldiers on the frontlines, as he frequently visited the forward positions and fought himself if necessary.
“Every commander has to understand the situation. Not by sitting on your backside behind the frontlines and looking at the map. The military regulations say that a commander has to be at around 12 km away. You have to stay with your soldiers, be on the forefront,” Niukoliuk said.
Victor Nikolyuk received his high rank when he was appointed the head of the training center. The general is reminded of bygone days by comrades that still serve on the front lines. The chaplain of his brigade came to visit with a gift.
“I wish the Blessed Virgin Mary, on the day of the Intercession, on the Day of the Defender of the Motherland, to protect you, your relatives, the entire personnel of your educational corps and the entire Ukrainian army,” chaplain said.
Together they meet special guests – schoolchildren. Children come here for a tour quite frequently.
During conversations with the commander, it seems that if there was an opportunity — he would take off his general epaulets and go do what he does best — fight in the trenches.
“During the war I had to do what I was taught in the military academy and later in the National Defence University. You really start to understand what your purpose is. At first, it was wild. Then you come to understand that you were entrusted a scope of work and you either do it or get out of the way,” Nikoliuk said.