Legends of the 28th Ukrainian Battalion (2)

There are reports that sound increasing every second of that By mid-June, member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and their partners will be conducting massive air exercises. This may be the moment when the Ukrainian army decides to blow the whistle for the massive counter-attack that the West has been waiting for. to recover territory from Russia

However, for soldiers in the front line who act to defend the battle line. “28th Ukrainian Battalion” and The New Yorker magazine, USA As stated in the previous week’s story, nothing has changed. You must try to survive the conflict with the Russian army with the weapons at hand.

“On February 24, 2022 Volodymyr Zelensky president of Ukraine There was an order to send soldiers from all classes aged 18-60 to repel the invaders. The line for applications is long. To the point that some places had to close applications saying they had received enough people. To this day, most people still support anti-Russia rather than negotiation. But of course, like all wars, Those who are less fortunate in society will bear the brunt.”

From living with the soldiers of the 28th Battalion who were stationed in the forest and sunflower fields to the south of the fortress city. “Bakhmut” In Donetsk province, such a picture appeared. Most of the members of the unit were from the working class: peasants, carpenters, plumbers, porters, one soldier said: “At the beginning of the war, it was enough to meet people of good status. elite ones But after 1 year, as you can see a high death rate They were all exhausted, and the authorities used the method of forced military coercion. But of course, there are many rumors that the survivors are connected. or get money to pay under the table

With the increasing proportion of inexperienced recruits making the burden fall on him “soldier” Heavier, like a cadet named Volunyaka, 30 years old, smart like an American football player. responsible for the two anti-tank units (Take care of a private called Kaban and Cadet that the team had a chance to mix with the trenches and the vehicle units At the moment, there is only one armored vehicle left. The rest were completely destroyed by artillery fire.

The surviving vehicle is a Soviet-era “BMP” armored vehicle. It has a machine gun and a 73 mm cannon. It is bulletproof, but not as good as a tank. But in the combat units it is called the “Iron Ark.” Once called into use, a 19-year-old soldier, named Cadet, was stunned and whispered, “I’ve seen so many people burn alive in the car . Just got hit by a single RPG rocket. Or get hit by a mortar, that’s all.”

Every day, Volunyaka commands armored vehicles. He drove to a small village not far from the line of conflict with the Russian army. also known as Zero-Line And fired a vehicle cannon in the Russian stronghold about 15-20 times One day, drove to shoot twice. but it will not sharpen to the front line because it will become a good target From the fact that the team is sitting next to the armored vehicle make familiar with the named driver Darwin He was a young man about the same age as Cadet. The person said a Native of Kirzon who moved from the city when the Russians invaded. before joining the Ukrainian army

The Volunyaka and Darwin were like other soldiers. who have never had the opportunity to practice using weapons, ordnance, they must teach themselves off the Internet said Darwin It is good to have the internet, but at the same time, it is like a double edged sword. We recently had to cancel the attack schedule. As a new soldier posts a video on social media announcing an invasion. and by the time the soldier ordered it removed, it had been seen over 11,000 times.

The next morning, reporters and photographers decide to travel to an abandoned village behind the battle lines. which is the point of the nursing unit “Senarak” There we met a soldier called Kirillo Middle-aged man, former tractor driver He served as an American M-113 armored personnel carrier during the Vietnam War. Discussed with a stammering voice, explaining that to pick up the wounded The army didn’t give me a handbook. But I can drive anything. I wish just the engine was enough.

while the only woman we meet is a Nurse with the rank of Sergeant Leonora Aged 47, she told us a story Having been a nurse in the emergency room for more than 10 years before joining the army in 2019. Currently living alone. Her husband moved to France. The news team teased that I’m all money in this age. She reached out and grabbed me and told me, “I didn’t notice, I’m used to it.”

during a conversation The radio communication sounded. “Ask the medical unit to move the wounded at the bottom of the pier.” Refers to the location code name of the trenches. One of the members immediately cursed, Damn, the place was so dangerous. But certainly as a machine that works efficiently. Kirillo had already started on the waiting armored vehicle. Our team immediately jumped into the car and asked to go on. He was followed by Leonora, who arranged for the stretcher. The atmosphere was tense. Leonora sat with her eyes closed and took a deep breath all the way and her eyes widened as soon as the armored vehicle came to a complete stop.

“We’ve reached the meeting point.” Leonora spoke over the radio before sticking her head out of the armored vehicle to see the situation and go quickly. With the roar of the wind from a group of Russian artillery shells diving close. He shouted into the radio, repeating the same sentence again. As Kirillo made a hasty move to reposition the vehicle and then flicked an RPG rocket. Ready to shout over and over for the people in the car to hear “There are drones above us!” Well, can you leave the back door open? Make Leonora respond. Don’t wait for the bullet to ricochet.

In that incident, the result showed that the wounded soldier was at another point. Kirillo had to drive further. And when it was picked up, it was found that a group of soldiers had been wounded by a hand grenade when they hit a Russian trench. but received first aid Take him back to the field hospital. The journey back was full of silence. which, when Cyrillo turned off the engine We asked Leonora while sitting still, praying? She did not answer. At that time I tried to sit and imagine. Visualize the injured person in different ways. to perform first aid hoping to increase his chances of survival Before saying goodbye to the team, we excuse ourselves to smoke and sit and wait for the next order.

a few days after We say goodbye to the 28th Battalion, leaving the stronghold in BMPs. to return to recover in a city behind the battle On the way, the news team saw an old woman walking along the road with a cane. when the car goes by She made her hand a symbol of the cross to pray for us. It’s a rather unusual scene compared to other places in Ukraine where people tend to raise their fists. or waving or cheering The reporter asked Volun Yaga, who was in the car, why people here are different from other places. Don’t pray for us to droop?

A 30-year-old Ukrainian soldier answered with a flat voice. “Almost everyone here is in favor of Russian. They don’t need us.” Oh, and the villagers aren’t that friendly. Didn’t it hurt morale… Volunyaga shook his head and said briefly, “I know this is my territory. Why should I care what they think of each other?”.

Weerapot Inthaphan


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