Life Under Fire
Ukrainian servicemen say they never open fire first because it's pointless and dangerous. However, if the men's lives are in danger they say they will not stand idly by
Not a single day has gone by without the ceasefire being broken by the Russian led militants near the eastern Ukrainian city of Dokuchaievsk.
“They are constantly firing at us. They fire at this position and at others using machine guns,” a Ukrainian soldier said.
The Ukrainian soldiers say that these are small scale attacks which they have grown accustomed to. The Russian led militants also used grenade launchers, anti-tank missiles, and mortars.
Soldiers say the militant forces attack Ukrainian positions in order to provoke them. They stress that it’s important to respond but they avoid firing if possible in an effort to keep their positions concealed from the enemy.
“You have to think twice whether to order to fire back, whether the men will be put in danger. If the military equipment catches fire as a result of the shooting, it can be replaced. But if a soldier loses his life, this is very bad,” serviceman Viktor said.
Viktor is a member of the armed forces and he is serving alongside his father, who goes by the callsign “Bakit,” on the frontline. Bakit is a military specialist with almost 30 years of experience. He has worked for private military contractors all over the globe. After his last contract ended he returned to Ukraine and immediately enlisted in the military with his Viktor. Meanwhile, Viktor has just graduated from college. This is a rare moment for the duo, usually, they are serving in different parts of the country.
“I understand that he has his own problems, there are more men in his division. And he does not have much time for conversations. Therefore, I don’t bother him very much, if need be, he will call,” Bakit said.
Bakit always tells his wife that it is calm and peaceful. But this isn’t so, at the moment they are stationed at a position which is particularly dangerous. Last week, Russian led forces used mortars to attack the area. Enemy sniper fire killed Volodymyr Salitr nearby. Many of the soldiers do not believe in the recently brokered ceasefire deal.
“Any sort of peace deal lasts for about one week. After a week passes, everything begins once again.
Certainly not as fast as it happens with mortars and artillery. But it begins slowly and everything gradually returns,” Viktor said.
Ukrainian servicemen say they never open fire first because it’s pointless and dangerous. However, if the men’s lives are in danger they say they will not stand idly by.