"We will change our lives for the better ourselves"
The commander of the reconnaissance section, 22-year-old Serhiy D., a native of Kherson oblast, connected his life with army in rather difficult times for our country. Having signed a contract with the command of one of the military units of the Navy of Ukraine, he came to serve in the Crimea, and the next day, he and his comrades got surrounded by Russian troops.
During a month, the so-called "green men" blocked the approaches to the unit, where Serhii served, but as a real patriot of Ukraine and a man of strong spirit, he managed to worthily stand that fierce psychological pressure from the invaders, remained loyal to the Military Oath and moved to the mainland of Ukraine.
Then, of course, neither he, nor his comrades suspected that the annexation of the Crimea is only the beginning of the Russian large-scale offensive in Ukraine. No one could imagine then that after the Crimea, there will be long-suffering Donbas scorched from war with thousands of victims among the Ukrainian service men and local population.
Where has Serhii been during these two difficult years? He has been on the front line. First, in the midst of "Ruska Vesna" ("Russian Spring"), he had served at checkpoints in the south of Odessa oblast. And later, when the anti-terrorist operation began, he left for Donetsk oblast.
Now, he is in ATO - at the forefront, guarding the frontiers of our state in the previously resort and cozy, and now completely destroyed village of Shyrokyne. According to his professional and human qualities, Serhii is a good commander and a reliable friend. This is very important, and it is particularly noticeable, when you are in a deadly danger. Shyrokyne is still shelled by militants almost every day, and the main thing in the moment is not to lose one's head, not to get frightened, but to give clear commands to subordinates. And, of course, the real commander of the reconnaissance section must accurately shoot from weapons, know the locality, detect enemy targets and be a role model of courage and endurance for the subordinates in the course of reconnaissance actions. Hostilities in Donbas have vividly proved that exactly these qualities are inherent to Serhii D.
After a nearly three-year break after demobilization from conscript service, Serhii has put on military uniform again, and carries a heavy cross of the Fatherland Defender, being already in the fourth few-months tour of duty in the ATO area.
- When we'll totally liberate Donbas from invaders, wide horizons for the development of our country as a self-sufficient and democratic state will be opened for us. And our state – Ukraine – is the one for us, and it is worth to be fighting and standing to the complete Victory over the enemy for, – the scout shared his thoughts.
It is not known exactly, how long it will take. But, looking at the faces of such courageous warriors, it could be decisively stated that soon, we will live in peace in our Ukrainian land again. With men like Serhii, there's nothing to be afraid of; strength, truth and a happy peaceful future for Ukraine are with them!
New front of Volodymyr Herasymchuk
26-year old Volodymyr Herasymchuk – ATO participant, machine gunner of the 54th separate reconnaissance battalion; today, the village head of Semenivka and Motovylivka, Lubarskyi rayon, Zhytomyr oblast.
The story of Volodymyr's courage began at the moment, when he voluntarily chose military service, instead of university education. It was his first independent and truly man's decision.
After the events of the Revolution of Dignity and aggravation of the situation in the East, Volodymyr was not waiting for mobilization. He addressed to the rayon military commissariat without any draft notice, and in July, 2014, he was sent to the 54th separate reconnaissance battalion. Having passed the training, he was sent into the ATO area.
He will never forget the most terrible battle in the village of Sanzharivka near Debaltseve. It was on January 25, 2015. "There was heavy fog. The enemy fired from different weapons. We were sent to reinforce the strong point. Enemy tanks advanced on the trenches, where I was, too. I had a contusion first, and then was injured in the leg. Courage and bravery of our warriors stopped the armed adversary, who was much stronger. We threw grenades at tanks. One of tanks retreated, three - were destroyed", – Vladimir recalls that battle.
By the way, Volodymyr Herasymchuk personally shot two tanks, and received a high state award – the Order "For courage", III degree, and a watch from the President of Ukraine – for that. After being seriously wounded in the leg, he had several operations. Unfortunately, the brave scout has a disability group III. But this is not an obstacle to fulfill plans and implement dreams in life, because not only the welfare of his family is at the stake now, but also that of villagers of Motovylivka and Semenivka. It was during the last local elections in October, 2015, when voters gave more than 60% of their votes to Volodymyr and elected him a village head.
Though it is a new experience for the discharged ATO participant, but work does not frighten him: "First of all, you need to improve villages and roads. I want people to understand that, if we are not going to change our lives for the better ourselves, no one will help us. We should develop the village in a way that young people wanted to live in it and had where to work". A sports gym has already been opened in the local House of Culture, thanks to the community efforts. The fellow countrymen of the young village head are sure that due to his energy, desire and ability to communicate with citizens, businessmen, farmers and rayon authorities, their towns are in safe hands.