The soldier recounts an ancient war made up of trenches, bombs and night raids: «The most dangerous moment? Go to the bathroom”
FROM OUR REPORT KIEV – Private Kirilo Volodymerovich still manages to joke. “The most dangerous time of the day in Donbass? Go to the toilet. We had just finished the new latrine and a blast of Grad missiles destroyed it. We have since given up on privacy. In any case, we came out of the trench one at a time to avoid losing more than one soldier in the event of an attack ».
Kirilo’s story of what lived in Lysychansk it is that of an ancient war made up of trenches, bombs and nocturnal raids where the courage of individuals, cruelty, pain, hand-to-hand combat are a daily experience. A war that asks for the blood of soldiers, he tears them apart with explosions or stabs them with the machine guns of other men in front of them.
Kirilo, this time, is on the side of the losers even if, for him as well as for his commander in chief, the definition is tight. «The decision to withdraw from where the enemy has a clear superiority of fire – claimed President Zelensky – saves the lives of Ukrainian soldiers. But from a strategic point of view it means that the military themselves will return with more modern weapons for the reconquest. Ukraine does not give up on anything it is about“.
The lost battle
As much as he hopes for a recovery, Sunday’s remains a losing battle for Ukraine.
“Someone – says Kiril – speaks of” zrada “, betrayal, because Severodonetsk has been defended for a long time while Lysychansk was abandoned in a week. Well, whoever says it doesn’t understand anything. These are the judgments of the general of the chair. Who was at the front may be sad, but he knows he did what he could ».
By conquering Lysychansk and, a week earlier, its twin city on the other side of the river, Severodonetsk, the Moscow army has completely taken over one of the two Donbass provinces. Russian propaganda calls it “liberation” and relies on images of Ukrainians coming out of air-raid shelters to greet the Kremlin troops. Now, if Moscow advanced another 70 kilometers and conquered the cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk it would take the whole of Donbass. Putin’s minimum goal would be achieved. At that point, perhaps, the Tsar would be willing to stop.
The Fall of the Fox
To take Severodonetsk, the Russians took a month, to take Lys (Fox), as Kirilo calls Lysychansk only a week. Military analysts said the Volpe River and Heights would help Ukraine’s defense. Instead? Is defeat the symptom of an unmanageable disproportion of forces? Kirilo, reached on the phone after the retreat, helps to understand and imagine the continuation of the conflict.
“It is wrong to think of Lys as a different battle from that of Severodonetsk. They are cities attacked one another, to defend Severodonetsk we fired from Lysychansk and every time the enemies attacked us head-on we pushed them back. So the Fox lasted 5 weeks, not a little bit ».
“After the fall of the first city, we infantrymen came down from the famous heights. Up there it was already all destroyed, razed to the ground. On the head flew the artillery pieces of the orcs – the Russians, ed – and the bullets of our response. At night I saw the flashes of the explosions, a battle between guns that cannot even be seen with each other. Staying at the top would not have helped us soldiers and the artillery would have been too close, so away from the heights. The Russians didn’t push to cross between the houses, they didn’t need to, they had already crossed the river that divides the two cities far, far away. North and South, Izium and Popasna ».
“Had we been waiting for them we would all have died because they would have taken us with pincers. Instead, even if our artillery did not fire as much as theirs, it was we who made the difference and made them pay dearly for the desire to take the Fox. We used to go out at night with the viewers. A stretch on the means and a stretch on foot. And then we hit him. At dawn, even where they had been camping for a month and believed they were safe. “Dobrevecher me z Ukraine” – good morning from Ukraine, ed – or “Gamarjoba!” – which is good morning in Georgian, ed – to make them understand that we are not the only ones resisting them. And then off fire, an avalanche. In those raids we destroyed many of their deposits, entire fighting groups: two tanks, armored personnel carriers, workshop wagon, kitchen … 70/80 men. Destroyed ».
Kyrilo has never heard of a “Pyrrhic victory”, but the concept comes out very clear to him. “They talk about treason, but they don’t understand war. We fight to weaken the other. If each of their conquests cost them so dearly, in the end the victory is ours. If they had surrounded us they would have won, but so? We are alive, we will come back ».
July 4th 2022 (change July 4th 2022 | 23:04)
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Kirilo, a veteran of Lysychansk: “A painful conquest, in the end the victory is ours”
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