Military Medics Train for Donbas Frontline

At the frontline in Donbas, a few minutes means the difference between life and death. Military medics not only treat wounded soldiers under enemy fire, but they also evacuate them


A serviceman falls to the ground with a leg wound. A tourniquet must be applied rapidly, without help. The other soldiers suppress the enemy fire. The severity of the wound prompts the commander to call for an evacuation. The soldier is put in an armored vehicle, where a combat medic provides aid.

For the military medics, the evacuation operation described was just a drill – but on the front line, they need to be prepared for any emergency scenario.

“It takes a minimum of around six or seven minutes to stabilize the wounded and take them to a safer location because if the enemy sees a group target, they can hit it with artillery fire,” Oleksandr Sterlikov, coordinator of the 205th tactical medicine training center, said.

Illia Lysenko is well-known in military circles. His volunteer unit was among the first to begin evacuating the wounded during the war in Donbas. Later he launched a service called ASAP, which evacuates the wounded as soon as possible. Last year, he became a contract soldier and now helps the military’s medical units.

“I signed a contract with the Armed Forces because I want to create an alternative to the ‘ASAP’ service – but within the Armed Forces; and to prove to everyone that the armed forces have resources, the qualified manpower necessary and the clear understanding of what needs to be done – and that they can do it better than anyone else; better than any civilian organization,” Lysenko said.

As an example of progress, the military showcased their latest machinery. Their 2018 vehicles differ from the 2017 versions, in the number of places for the wounded, the onboard equipment and a more advanced heating and ventilation system. Both models are currently used at the frontline.

“He is conscious. He clearly responds to questions and is aware of his surroundings. Breathing indicators – 100, heartbeat – 16-20. These are within the norm,” Anna Malynovska, an instructor at the 205th tactical medicine training center, said.

“There are vehicles that are used for evacuation from right on the front line – and there are vehicles used to then take the wounded to the nearest hospital,” Volodymyr Osypov, a senior officer of the main military medical directorate, said.

Within the Ukrainian military, these newer vehicles operate alongside the Soviet-era MLTB trucks. The noise from older vehicles means they can be mistaken for a combat vehicle, making them an enemy target. But their armor more than makes up for this.

We spoke to the serviceman who performed the role of the wounded. He says it felt a little too realistic.

“When the fighting began, it was more scary with all the explosions and firing happening close by. When they loaded me up and were taking me to a hospital, it got easier,” he said.


date 14.03.2019
categories Joint Forces Operation, News releases
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