By Yury Rudenko
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
We are sending this out today as a happy valentine to all of our incredible servicemen in the ATO and on the front lines in gratitude for all of your sacrifices and bravery. Words are not ever enough thanks, so we extend our heartfelt understanding for the conditions you find yourselves in and continued volunteer efforts to support you! ❤
I am writing as a man who, four months ago, entered into an empty concrete hole in the ground, with no doors, in the centre of which was a hedgehog lying in a pile of shit.
Now we have light, Internet, a carpet on the floor and posters on the walls, a spare bomb shelter, a kitchen, satellite TV, a stove and a cat that keeps running away, our GAZ 66 is always ready to go, and it really is the fastest “shishiga” [slang term for a GAZ 66] in the whole brigade – minimal comfort, maximum safety on this stronghold that we have created with our own hands.
There are 5 of us in the ZU23-2 unit – all conscripts – and apart from food, weapons, a uniform and our wages, the government gave us nothing.
Pal, you got screwed as soon as you picked up your draft notice; you got into a moronic story, and how you live out this year now depends entirely on you. Whether you wander around half-drunk in pissed pants, or chat with the wife or lover after your shift on Skype, while sipping coffee – it’s your personal choice. Sure, there’s no question that there is almost no war here, and you can stagger and crawl around all the concrete in your underpants, but that’s the problem with danger – the war can happen at any moment; in February of last year the war glanced our way too – a Smerch, by the way, hit about 30 metres from our “apartment”…
That is precisely the problem, that having a heavily populated area in my gun sights, I can take out about 200 civilians with one pull of a lever, and then can pull on it again… (this is kind of about responsibility, is it something that just anyone is ready to take on?)..
Friend, you are screwed, accept this. The lack of warmth around your arse, and your living in shit is not the fault of Poroshenko and Muzhenko – it is in your interest to build comfort around yourself. It is the story of the guys from the 72nd , who managed to watch films on their laptop to distract themselves from the methodical shelling, and about the APC from that same brigade, which could get up to 90 km/hour, 90, “Carl“! It is the story of the guys from the 2nd National Guard battalion, who were watching mortar shells fall from their comfy sofa in a concrete bunker that they themselves built. It is even the story of an underground toilet from the 128th, where you could take a crap and survive maybe not nuclear war, but definitely a Grad shelling, and yes, it is the story of the “dogs of the regime” who were screwing around and spamming on the Internet from that “very peaceful” airport at the edge of the ATO.
On you and only on you, my hopelessly screwed friend, depends whether your APC, Ural or tank will crap oil underneath itself, whether it will let you down at a critical moment, whether your gun will jam because you never cleaned it, whether you will lose your mind in a dirty, crappy, windswept trench, only because you did not lift your arse to make it nicer there for yourself.
It depends on you whether locals will avoid you like the plague, because you are red-nosed and stink of alcohol, or whether they will shake your hand and give you nice things and throw flowers onto your armour, like for the guys from the 30th.
You can whine: ‘oh, what can I do, where can I get stuff?’… guys, this is not a man’s attitude, we have about 10 friends and volunteers to every soldier. Alas, it is our fate and karma, to make things nicer for ourselves, to seek, to ask, to obtain. Like the same 30th had half an UAZ full of stuff delivered by the New Post, and how the 101st got and continues to get lighting for the perimeter, how the 72nd got food back in the day. Alas, yes, we are all screwed, and we all have to do our best to survive, we have to either learn to write reports, nag the command–as one good friend of mine from the 92nd did–or to obtain stuff for yourself – or to die in shit.
We all really want to go home, we all miss our women, we all argue and yell at each other, we sometimes drink, but we all want to survive and to win the war.
We are all screwed, and the extent of how unbearable our lives are, depends solely on us.
Source: Rudenko Yury FB
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