For the first time Captain Oleksandr Prodaivoda arrived at the area of the holding of anti-terrorist operation within the reconnaissance battalion at the end of May 2014. A young reconnaissance officer honourably endured the suffering and hardships of war, displayed endurance and courage in the battles and received a well-deserved honour – Order of Bohdan Khmelnytskyi. Currently, it is his third rotation in the combat action zone.
– On June 19, 2014, we fell into the enemy ambush near the settlement of Zakotne, Yampil rayon. A commander of the armored cavalry group Lieutenant Colonel Ihor Liashenko and my best friend, co-ed, combat sworn brother – a commander of the reconnaissance company Captain Stepan Horobets were killed in fighting. I and several guys survived then and we have served together up to now, – pained officer remembers.
That morning a unit consisted from two APCs moved to perform combat task on “mopping-up operation” of Yampil from separatists. At 9.00 a.m. we received a new order – to storm Zakotne. We came in town, taking by assault, where we disclosed a great part of the weapons and military equipment. But when the company held its positions, it became known that terrorists made attempts to encircle it. Battalion commander immediately ordered to rush to assistance of our guys. With the assistance of two APCs, the scouts came to rescue sworn brothers. Suddenly, the first APC was hit from grenade launcher. Battalion commander was killed first, then – company commander.
– We drove in our APC to the left side from the destroyed commander’s vehicle, and the enemy fire was turned on us, – Captain Oleksandr Prodaivoda continues telling story. – I was saved from death due to an open armoured hatch cover, in which several enemy’s bullets hit. Eventually, we managed to escape from that ambush but one more warrior we lost.
Another two hours, brave scouts had been escaping from encirclement in unfamiliar territory, taking by assault. Due to skills of driver Junior Sergeant Oleksandr Safriuk, who skillfully and imperturbably drove APC through the enemy positions, we were saved. We drove in a high point where we were again come under a precision terrorist’s fire. We communicated by radio and, according to order, moved on the positions where, under a dense fire, we were hardly ever ambush for the second time.
– Having assessed the enemy, who was prevailed us in strengthen and fire power, brigade commander Colonel Oleksandr Pavliuk gave timely order to retreat, what saved the lives of many warriors, – Oleksandr remembers. – Nobody was ready for warfare at that time. Nobody knew how it actually looks. We had to learn from own mistakes, bitter mistakes, having lost combat sworn brothers who laid their lives for the sake of Ukraine.
Thereafter, the scouts found out that they opposed the enemy’s battalions “Yampil” and “Prizrak”. It took a little time to almost completely destroy “Yampil” and “Prizrak” battalions. The Kremlin traitors remembered forever the power of the Ukrainian battalions.
– Today, based on acquired combat experience, we understand well what we must teach personnel, – says Captain Oleksandr Prodaivoda. – We are ready to perform any task.