Roman Donik – Some Thoughts on Our Army

Roman Donik
22.03.2014
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
Source: Facebook post

Some thoughts about the Ukrainian army:

After several days of talking to unit commanders, I’m starting to understand that if the Russian aggression hadn’t been real, we should’ve invented it anyway.

The army, that was on its last legs, that during the last 10-15 years was starved and plundered, and brought down in every possible way, is rising from the ashes like phoenix.

Our army, just like our society, can be divided into three nominal categories.

The patriots, who are a majority today. They have tired and calm eyes. Without hassle, hysterics or anguish, they are doing what they have to. Even if they don’t have much to do that with, because of an all-round deficit of everything. At first, I couldn’t understand why the eyes of these people, whom I’ve never met before, are so familiar to me.

Then I remembered. We saw these eyes on Maidan. They can’t be described with words – but those who saw them, will know what I mean. These people, casually and matter-of-factly, without any drama, are doing what is required of them. Even in the most extreme of circumstances.

There’s another category, a significant minority – those who already broke. They went to the army for the sake of early retirement, or encouraged by their parents. But they didn’t go there to make war.

And the third category, the smallest, but the most harmful one – clinical idiots. They tend to roost in staff offices. These include children of the higher-ups, old senile specimens, and straight out fools. I hope they’re all making the list which we will be going through later, together.

There’s a lot of mistrust. Especially in connection with the mobilization. Every new arrival to the unit can be the enemy’s saboteur. Recent events in Krivy Rih [where two tanks were burned down, and sabotage is suspected] showed us again – this is war, and neither a joke nor a drill.

This is why security is paramount, and one should be understanding of that when asked all sorts of weird questions. However bizarre it sounds, we are currently at war.

A few days ago, one of the base commanders said an interesting thing that describes the military’s opinion of Maidan. “You should form your own battalions. Self-Defense, Svoboda, Right Sector, UNA-UNSO [Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian National Self Defense], RUN [Movement of Ukrainian Nationalists]. You’ve been tried and tested, you all know each other already. I would trust you 100%.”

Updates on helping the army:

supplies_donikToday, Zhytomyr border guard detachment, with God’s and human help, received 70 liters of gasoline. A pittance, of course, but received with such happiness. They also received roll mats and sleeping bags, delivered by Nova Poshta [New Mail delivery service].

We visited the mechanized brigade N93 today. The brigade commander sends an enormous “thank you” to everyone who chipped in to help. He’s an amazing man, an active duty officer, went through Iraq and a few more peace-keeping missions. He remains calm, even though the situation is quite difficult.

Before we got there, an eighteen-wheeler arrived from Vinnitsya, delivering 30 tons of potatoes.

We brought the stuff that no one had the time to get around to: 150 liters of detergent, 200 kg of bleach, over 1000 disposable plates (tin foil), 5 battery lanterns, socks, handmade soap (present from our ladies), lemons, homemade jams, various tasty things (from students), vitamins, and many other small useful things.

Continuing the tradition, you can find the current list of needs and contacts at this link.

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