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Soldiers do not exclude that the situation may worsen between August 23rd and 24th on the Flag day and Ukrainian Independence Day.
The truce on the outskirts of Donetsk is very conditional. Russian hybrid forces fire at Ukrainian military positions using various types of grenade launchers and small arms. One needs to be careful not to get caught by a sniper.
In the evenings, a disco begins on the outskirts of Maryinka. That’s what Ukrainian soldiers call the shellings by occupiers. Militants practically do not cease firing here, despite the declared truce.
DShK is a Dehtiariev-Shpahin heavy machine gun. It features a wide aiming range. A good machine gunner can hit their target from a distance of 3.5 kilometers. A large caliber bullet carries a mortal threat. Therefore, the “royal” infantrymen remain vigilant as enemy snipers are active there.
“They never quit working. If the right moment comes, they will open fire. I can easily distinguish sniper fire. It comes with experience. Militants fire using a large-caliber rifle,” soldier Andriy said.
The Ukrainian military adheres to the truce. They do not respond to enemy provocations, but they are ready to fight back in case the situation escalates.
“If there is clear aggression on their part and it will be necessary to defend our positions, we’ll suppress attacks in case of deliberate shellings or occupiers moving towards our positions,” Andriy said.
Before the start of the school year, the militants may ask for the so-called ‘school truce.’ However, the Ukrainian army has no doubts that the militants will not adhere to it, just like they did not adhere to the ‘harvest’ truce. Dmytro has been serving in Donbas since 2014. He never saw Russian hybrid forces fulfill their agreements.
“I had evidence from 2014. We took their captured equipment, their weapons were there. We seized a Kamaz vehicle, which belonged to a Russian military unit, they didn’t even bother to hide it when crossing the border,” he said.
Serhiy is the commander of this unit. The lieutenant is only twenty-one. The last year’s graduate of the Lviv Academy of Ground Forces commands dozens of people. He says that despite the quality of training at the educational institution, the most difficult thing was to find a common language with people, many of whom are twice as old.
“Each commander should have an individual approach, no matter how old he is. It is necessary to talk to everyone. Suggest if the soldier forgot something, or ask him, consult with him,” he said.
Though, the main secret to becoming an authority for the soldiers is to be close to them.
“You should always be ahead. If the commander hides behind the backs of the personnel, they are not the commander. I do not always have the opportunity, because I also command the fight, but when it happens, I am always with them,” Serhiy said.
Serhiy is proud of the Ukrainian army. The commander believes that victory is the main goal.
“Of course, peace is the priority. More precisely, victory, and not, as they say, peace at all costs. When there will be a victory, then there will be a development of the state,” Dmytro said.
The ‘Royal’ brigade is always on alert. Infantrymen do not exclude that the situation may worsen between August 23rd and 24th on the Flag day and Ukrainian Independence Day.