June 10, 2023

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Behind the War: "Every Bit of Progress Costs Human Lives" |  The war in Ukraine

Behind the War: “Every Bit of Progress Costs Human Lives” | The war in Ukraine

Grateful for the material, but more would be welcome

The earth shook with the rumble of artillery in the distance. But also from the rumble of armored cars. “They are at least forty years old,” says Dyakov, watching a few passers-by. But they are still working and they can transport our soldiers.

Semiyon and Dyakiv are doing “something” on the front line, but they are not told what. In their truck, a TV screen is attached as you find in the cars of the soldiers who control the drones. “We watch the news there,” Semyon jokes. Next to the screen is a box of protein bars.

There is no specific date for the start of the attack

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky recently said in an interview that Ukraine still needs months to prepare for a major attack.

According to Semiyon, it should still be a huge surprise. “A pleasant surprise for us, an unpleasant surprise for the other. It’s my first war, so I don’t know how it usually goes like this. But maybe it’s slow, not suddenly: Morning, we’re going to abusive.”

Of course, no one will say exactly when a major attack will begin. Whatever is being said publicly now is undoubtedly part of a smokescreen. For example, to deploy Russian forces in the wrong places, as happened during the successful Ukrainian Autumn Offensive.

Het tank station dat werd verwoest een dag voordat Hans Jaap Melissen in het gebied aankwam.

Viascheslav op zijn driewielerfiets.

Ontvang meldingen big nieuws over de oorlog in Oekraïne

Cautiously optimistic about the future of Ukraine

Military Semyon is not yet free at the moment and invites others to return to work. He is optimistic about the long term. “We have more reserves. The countries behind us can provide us with more than the countries that support Russia, such as Iran and North Korea. They are weaker than Britain, Australia and Europe.”

Semyon says that he was in the army only recently. More than a year ago he was still just a publisher. Will he soon publish his own book about what he experienced in Bakhmut? “I think it’s too early to explain this war in a book. But if I’m going to publish something, I’ll do it in English. Many people want to hear about this war firsthand, without the noise of propaganda.”

Meanwhile, more and more equipment is arriving in eastern Ukraine. Trainloads of tanks and armored vehicles meet this reporter as they head west again. It looks great. But whether this would end up in Simeon’s book in the chapter “The Successful Conversion” or “The Beginning of the Great Offensive” is difficult to estimate.

De militairen Dyakiv (links) en Semiyon.