Arsen Avakov. Image from WikiPedia.

By Arsen Avakov, Minister of Internal Affairs
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

As I wrote some time ago, there are 30 of them. Special battalions of the MOI [Ministry of Internal Affairs] from the whole country. ONLY VOLUNTEERS!

Some have the experience of serving in combat behind them, past service in the Special forces and special ops units, gray hair at the temples … and most of the people who come to the battalions are young guys, who do not know much in the military sense, but who have the most important quality of a warrior—spirit! Fire in the eyes and a strong desire to defend their country. Both guys and girls, very young and those who are older than me…

It is hard—learning military affairs in one month. It is hard to learn to shoot, to live in the field, to obey orders … it is even harder, after target practice, to really shoot at another human, even if [it is] an enemy … hard to see injuries and the death of your comrades, to endure the pain of losses, to get used to the corpses of enemies … hard to get used to a state of constant danger. The feeling that death is always nearby…

–Better to die, but I do not want to become disabled. I am afraid of being wounded. – One of the guys tells me, hiding behind a smirk, but with all seriousness.

–You are an idiot…

–I may be an idiot, but I am more afraid of being left helpless than of death… silence… I am kidding. He smiles, without the stress now. I am not planning to die. We’ll finish in a month, and I will come back alive, whole, and beautiful. A hero and a catch for the ladies!

I wrote this some time ago now—war makes many things contrasting, black and white. Changing and sharpening to the limits of emotions, the perception of what is happening… It becomes hard to remain in a balanced state. War and death and misfortune everywhere are the abnormal conditions of the test. It is hard and cripples everyone. Some more, some less. Depending on how each person’s inner world is designed, and who gets which challenges from fate…

What I am saying is that after the war, we will not return to normal in the old sense that we put into that word.

Some do not hide it even now. Some do not have the strength to hide it. Some break; some are too easy-going and beautiful in open sincerity. Some are closed off, some are too wild… And only one thing is obvious—the soul is exposed. There is more honesty.

A sharp sense of understanding justice and honesty. Even if it is unusually bitter, naked, sharp, direct, and uncomfortable through the prism of all of the experiences that we bring back from the war… But honest, and that means—bright. Leading in the right way…

I am angry at many. Sometimes, although not often, I shout and get indignant… And in general, I change, like all those who were touched by the war. Together with those who are sincere. Together with those who are honest. With the guys from the volunteer battalions of the MOI, the reserve battalions of the National Guard, with fighters from regular Omega, Vega, Bars [riot police groups]… with real career officers and generals, with volunteers… Already heroes and ordinary soldiers… I change… It creates a special feeling of a unified whole with those who are real WARRIORS in this test. With those who came into this army, setting aside the rational…

That happened on Maidan, that real Maidan that existed until the 21st [of February]… all who lived together through those Maidan days, wherever and whenever they found themselves—will always treat each other in a special way. An amazing kinship of souls and effort, which allowed us to win then! That brotherhood is with us forever, while we live.
So it will be now. Both during the war and after. Only with less romance. Only with more pain. Only so little time has passed, and we are once again different…

There are 30—special battalions of the MOI, volunteers, consolidated units. And the National Guard. And I am responsible for them. And they—for me. And that is how everyone should feel. And there are many of us. And we in our unity—in caring for our country and for each other—are and will be undefeatable! In achieving our goal, in victories and in defeats. In joy and in sorrow. It is important that we all feel this. Despite all the f*ck-ups and stupidity, the pointlessness of the transitional formation period and episodes of weakness. Despite the crazy lies and propaganda against us…

I will write here some important lines in my sphere of duties and responsibility—about the MOI. Important, as fact against speculation. Important, as a part of necessary work. Important for you and me—as duty before our comrades. And this truth and knowledge is also our strength. So that no one lies about losses or speculates on them—because it is despicable to play with that. It is a part of our whole…

Since the beginning of the ATO to the morning of the 9th of August, we have lost 46 people (25 from the National Guard, 21 of the MOI Special Forces). Wounded—225 people (152 from the National Guard, 73 from the MOI).

To the dead, we have a commitment. As people and as a country. They died for the country. The country must take care of their families. Regardless of how difficult that might be. Last Friday, Arseniy [Yatsenyuk] proposed, from the government, a number of important decisions. Each family of a deceased warrior will be provided with an additional apartment. This applies to all the dead warriors—of the Ukrainian Army and border guards, National Guardsmen, and policemen.

In the MOI, we are creating a special service for the care of the families of the dead. Money, education for the children, work for the relatives, a thousand other everyday problems. I believe that we are obligated to provide this care. Each agency—for the families of their fallen soldiers. For our wounded and their families. That is what we decided. It will be proper and also honest.

On the state level, there is also a special agency being created—for the rehabilitation of the warriors, the participants in the ATO. The provision of medical and social rehabilitation of our guys are its main tasks. That is the right thing—that is what they do in all civilized countries that end up in a similar situation to ours. And we on the Cabinet took this decision.

Behind all these lines are people and their fates.

Of the 225 wounded, 61 fighters are still being treated in our hospitals. Some, after their injuries, have already returned to service and are again on the front line. Some cannot. They are at home. After the injuries received, they cannot serve in active units due to their physical condition. To them, to our guys, we want to offer work in other departments of the ministry. There is now more than ever a need for the police to have the TRUST OF THE PEOPLE. A war veteran has people’s trust! If the will is there—they can work in an office with a prosthesis, too.

Prosthetics. Yesterday we considered the National Guard—12 people. We do and will decide on each case individually. Some will be sent abroad, where they have the best [care]. Some will get better service here, but also the best of what we have… our duty!

A dry line from a spreadsheet on my desk. Fatalities. Alas, there are already 46 such lines in front of me…

“Gulik Arthur Yaroslavovich, a soldier of the 2nd reserve battalion of the National Guard, unit 3027. Year of birth 1983. Lviv Oblast. Not married. No parents”… a dash in the section “family”…

We have responsibilities before him. I have my duty—I know. I will do it.

And you also have a duty—before him, the fallen young man. Live with dignity in a happy and free country!—He died for it.

Source: Arsen Avakov FB 

This entry was posted in Blogs, English, Languages, News, Opinions, Others, Politics, Regіons, Social Media, South&Eastern Ukraine, War in Donbas and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to ARSEN AVAKOV: Duty

  1. Good to see that an effort is being made towards those who have given of themselves to their country.

  2. Tio says:

    The people of Europe also have responsibilities to the Ukrainians dead in this war. Because this is a WAR. War and nothing else…

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