Each of us: an Odessa plumber delivered ammunition to the DAP, a tram driver mowed down Russian artillery, and the deputy director of the ZhKS freed Shirokino 

Dedicated to the Day of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Russian aggression has become a difficult test for our country. Lulled by propaganda and stories about “brothers”, the Ukrainian people were faced with the need to take up arms and defend independence and territorial integrity. The mobilization gave the Armed Forces a powerful impetus and helped to contain the Russian invasion.

Thousands of residents of Odessa and the region left peaceful labor for a while, turning into warriors. Then most of those mobilized returned to their pre-war professions. We decided to tell the readers about them in the new series “In Civilian”. The first piece is about Odessa public utilities who visited the front. Street cleaners, tram drivers, locksmiths, plumbers and many others who defended our freedom. They are among us.

They have a word.

Sergei Vasilenko (plumber-heating engineer of KP “ZhKS” Porto-Frankovskiy “)

“I got to the front under rather curious circumstances: they stole my bag with all my documents, and when I went to restore my military ID, I was handed a summons. It was autumn 2014. I was sent to the 28th brigade, the 18th battalion, ours, Odessa. Just arrived in the ATO zone, and immediately to the front line: the defense of Mariupol, then Pavlopol. What is there to enumerate, in the two years that I served, we have been everywhere, except for Sands. He fought as a senior driver, drove everything that had wheels and tracks. Several times he delivered people, ammunition, equipment to the Donetsk airport. I had to not only turn the steering wheel, but also shoot back.

It is often asked if there was any scariest moment when you said goodbye to life? No, it wasn’t, you don’t have time to think about it. When you’re under fire, you think about how to save the guys and get out of the fire. Not everyone was able to think quickly, but nothing, they helped, as they say, both in word and in deed. It cannot be otherwise in the army. There was a lot: sabotage groups intercepted, and “tongues” were taken. This is war. After I was fired, they called me almost every two months, offered to sign a contract, but I don’t want to. While I was fighting, I lost almost all my relatives: my younger brother, aunt, uncle died, I didn’t even go to the funeral. An elderly mother remained. I’m 47 years old. Of course, if there is an aggravation again, I will not go anywhere – I will go to fight. When people come to visit you, but instead of knocking the door is knocked down, they are not guests, but enemies. “

Yuri Oleinik (trolleybus driver)

“In August 2014, the company received a summons, went to the military registration and enlistment office. I had a compulsory military service behind me, where I was first a sniper and then a telegraph mechanic.

I was drafted into the 28th mechanized brigade, at first I was enrolled as a senior telephone operator, and then I was retrained as an artillery loader. October 15 were already at the front: Maryinka, Krasnogorovka. Until February 2015, when the silence mode was introduced, it was restless, we regularly engaged in counter-battery firing, I worked on the Akatsia self-propelled howitzer. Intelligence reported that we acted very well. Our position was chosen very competently, enemy artillery did not hit us, but from the Grad systems we were covered several times, a colleague’s leg was torn off.

We were repeatedly fired upon from the territory of residential areas and even from the cemetery, we did not return fire in such cases. It is a pity that we were not able to return the occupied territories, the fear of a full-scale invasion of Russia is holding back the command. ”  

Head of the Odessa funicular (asked to remain incognito)

“Like my father, I am a career soldier, from the age of 16 in boots. At the time of the outbreak of hostilities, he was deputy commander of one of the units of the National Guard. I swore an oath to the people of Ukraine, and therefore, when the Motherland said: “It is necessary,” I replied: “Yes.” In October 2014, as part of a company group, I arrived at the front, and immediately into the trenches. The hellish summer was over, but at that moment everything was still far from quiet. There was an urgent need to ensure the safety of the Novoazovsk – Odessa route. There were shelling, there were difficult situations, we spent 45 days on a business trip, but this time was enough for, unfortunately, not everyone returned home. Upon my return, I was very impressed not so much by the war as by the fact that while shells were bursting there and people were dying, about 90% of our population lived a quiet life and did not even think about that there are military operations in their own state. It’s not that it’s impossible to come to terms with this, it’s just impossible to understand, I still don’t understand. ”

Evgeny Gromilov (foreman for the operation of the housing stock of the KP “ZhKS” Porto-Frankovskiy “)

“I am originally from the Odessa region, I have been working in Odessa for a long time. They called from the village council that the summons had arrived. I went through the commission, then got into training on Shirokiy Lan, from there to the 1st tank brigade, and seven days later, on March 27, 2015, I was in the ATO zone. By position, I am the driver of the PAK-200 – a field autonomous kitchen. However, this car was inoperative and I drove a variety of wheeled and tracked vehicles. The first and only place of my service is the village of Zatishnoe, Volnovakha region. My commander was the holder of the orders of Bogdan Khmelnitsky, Alexander Moroz – a wonderful person, I am proud to have served under his command. We were in the second line, I did not participate in military clashes: orders, guards and, of course, work as a driver. Delivered cargo to the front line several times. This war became a great test for our people, but it once again confirmed

I am half Russian, my father lives in Russia, after he found out that I fought in the Donbass, he abandoned me. Despite the fact that I did not actually fight, but undermined my health. Of course, I do not regret anything: I did not go to the front as a volunteer, but for reasons of conscience and honor. I understood perfectly well that I might not return, but I have someone to protect. “

Alexey Kiselev (Deputy Director of the tram depot No. 1 of KP “Odesgorelectrotrans”)

“I got to the war in a completely natural way, since I am a career soldier, I have thirty years of service behind me. In Odessa since 2002, he came to serve here after graduating from the Kharkov military university. At that time, he served as chief of the mobilization department of the headquarters of the Southern Operational Command. An operational group of the district headquarters was created, which was sent to the “M” sector in Mariupol. In this group, I was the operational duty officer of one of the directions. We had various tasks, including monitoring enemy attacks, collecting and analyzing data in order to inform the OSCE mission. During this first rotation, I stayed at the front for 112 days, then there were several more missions.

Of course, Ukraine approached this war in a very disassembled state. There were practically no units in Luhansk and Donetsk regions, only radar units. The southern operational command was recreated already in the course of hostilities. And the enemy acted insolently and in a variety of ways: I remember how our officer at the military registration and enlistment office in Nikolaev was already preparing to use his service weapon when pro-Russian provocateurs stormed the building. All this was aimed at disrupting mobilization, at reducing the country’s defense capability. “

Dmitry Smirnov (locksmith of tram depot No. 1 of KP “Odesgorelectrotrans”)

“I got to the ATO on mobilization in June 2015 as part of one of the subdivisions of the State Border Service. This was preceded by a three-month preparation. He took part in the hostilities in the area of ​​Zolote, Nyrkovo and a number of other settlements. The first week was scary, we took up positions, and there was an enemy at a distance of 300-500 meters. They fired at us from mortars, sometimes they covered us from the Grad.

I served in the “green” border guards for a year and three months, then another six months in the sea guard. And then I signed contracts and fought as part of the 57th separate motorized infantry brigade, spent the last six months in Peski. The contract ended, the brigade left the ATO zone, I resigned and decided to return to civilian life, but it didn’t work out – I was drawn again. The last contract I signed with the 79th Airborne Assault Brigade. Frankly, the atmosphere in the troops during mobilization was much better: there were many patriots, we were ready to tear each other’s throats, a real brotherhood. And somewhere since 2018, migrant workers have joined the army, and a lot has changed. Every man for himself. In the last months of the service we could no longer see each other, we were frustrated, almost fights didn’t come to pass. ”  

Igor Didkovskiy (Deputy Director of KP “ZhKS” Vuzovskiy “)

“I had a chance to visit the ATO zone three times, but the hottest trip was in February 2015, in the midst of battles for Shyrokyne. At that time, I was the deputy commander of the united grouping of the National Guard “South”, which included units from Odessa, Nikolaev, Kherson and Zaporozhye. Also with us were soldiers from “Azov” and other units.

From 10 to 11, and then from 16 to 19 February, he commanded the defense of our positions, there were constant shelling from mortars and rocket artillery, snipers worked from both sides, the enemy attacked several times, tried to knock us out of Shyrokyne. These attempts failed, but, unfortunately, we had losses in personnel and equipment, a shell hit a car with ammunition, there were hits in an armored personnel carrier. Then there was another business trip to the ATO zone, but calmer. “

Evgeniy Kryachko (driver of tram depot No. 1)

“In 2013, I was called up for military service in the then internal troops, after a while they were renamed the National Guard. In connection with the events on the Maidan, they did not let us go, we served. At this point, I made a decision for myself to sign the contract before the end of the special period. I was twice in the ATO zone. We performed police functions, stood at roadblocks and inspected vehicles. Nothing interesting happened, and thank God. They found mainly drugs, sometimes ammunition, grenades.

When the contract ended, I returned to a peaceful life, chose for myself the profession of a tram driver. I want to say that I do not agree with the widespread opinion that time in the army is a period spent without benefit. Yes, there is a lot of stupid and pointless, but at the same time, the service provides a tremendous experience in terms of communication and interaction with people. It will come in handy in any job at any enterprise. “

Vitaly Kudryashov (driver of tram depot No. 2)

“In 2013 I was drafted into the army, having signed a contract for three years. He served in a unit that deals with electronic intelligence, was engaged in cybersecurity, secreting and transmitting data. You can say about me “the guy who ran with a walkie-talkie.” Due to the specifics of our service, we had short rotations, but everything was in the front – for two months.

The first night in the dugout I spent awake. We were fired upon, but I could not understand why everyone around was sleeping so sweetly. And then it always was like this: the first and last nights of the rotation are the most difficult: on the last one you constantly think that there is so much behind your back, that very little, and you will find yourself at home, and an inhuman fear that some crazy person might fly in right now. projectile, that’s all.

In general, if you follow all the instructions on the front end, do not drink and act reasonably, then, for example, the probability that you will not become a victim of a sniper is very high. Most of the losses are due to alcohol. “

Oleg Filipchuk (driver of tram depot No. 2)

“In 2008-2011 he served under a contract in the 28th brigade, then he trained as a tram driver, worked on the line, and in 2013 he again signed a contract, served in the regional center of electronic intelligence. In 2015, he went to the front as the deputy commander of an automobile platoon in a support company. In reality, my task was to ensure the mobility of reconnaissance groups, that is, I transported scouts. We did not sit still.

By the way, Vitalik Kudryashov and I served. In general, we somehow go through life together, from school yet. And now we are working in one depot on one route – No. 7. There were two comrades serving – this is about us!

Author – Rostislav Baklazhenko, specially for “Dumskaya”


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