This is the paratroopers greatest inspiration

This is the paratroopers greatest inspiration

There was not much population left in the villages along the front in Donetsk Oblast.

TV 2 races on bad roads in an old money hauler with policemen Vasilij Pipa and Rustam Lukomskyj.

It is important here to move quickly. About 10 kilometers from the town of Vuhledar is the village of Bohoyavlenka, where some of the fiercest battles take place. The place is well within range of the Russian artillery.

We race through bombed-out buildings. Of the 1,500 people, only 200 are left.

Destruction: Villages along the front in Donetsk region are regularly bombed. Photo: Aage Aune/TV 2

In this area, TV-2 meets Sergey, a paratrooper from the Ukrainian 79th Parachute Brigade.

He has been fighting at the front in Donetsk for more than a year.

The real heroes

Sergey has a rest from the trench, and he’s in an extra good mood this day.

He is stronger than most people, but he believes that there are completely different people who are braver than him.

– You know, the old wives here really inspire me. All locals, really. He says to TV 2 that they have balls bigger than us.

Parachute hunter: Sergei is from Kremenchuk in central Ukraine.  He served at the front for more than a year.  Photo: Aage Aune/TV 2

Parachute hunter: Sergei is from Kremenchuk in central Ukraine. He served at the front for more than a year. Photo: Aage Aune/TV 2

Although the artillery and other bombardment is raging, the residents who are still remaining are trying to survive as best they can.

For Sergey, civilians are the real heroes.

– Grandmothers go here and tend their gardens. There may be unexploded grenades, but they’re still working in the vegetable gardens, says Serge.

Can't go: Ljudmila Pogrebnjak's husband is blind and has mobility problems.  That's why they decided to stay, despite the bombing.  Photo: Aage Aune/TV 2

Can’t go: Ljudmila Pogrebnjak’s husband is blind and has mobility problems. That’s why they decided to stay, despite the bombing. Photo: Aage Aune/TV 2

They inspire us and don’t go anywhere, no matter how strong or good they are.

During the conversation, drones are regularly heard nearby. Sergey reassures that the Ukrainian protection. He says things are progressing slowly but surely for the Ukrainian forces.

– We pay. It is already moving forward. Little by little, he says.

The last child left

But even if the remaining residents try to hold on, they are entirely dependent on the help they get from policemen Pippa and Lukomski.

TV 2 was also with the two policemen being detectives and rescuers, delivering emergency aid and carrying out evacuation.

Ending up with a very exciting day at work for both police officers and the press:

Many of those who remain in areas close to the front are forced to stay because they have family they cannot leave, or because they are sick or too old to flee.

All young people and families with children have left.

– The day before yesterday we evacuated the last child from Bohoyavlenka, says Pipa.

It is important for them to stay in close contact with the population to find out their needs. Therefore, they often walk around and talk to people.

Where: Rustam Lukomsky is ready to go out on short notice if people in their local area need help.  Photo: Aage Aune/TV 2

Where: Rustam Lukomsky is ready to go out on short notice if people in their local area need help. Photo: Aage Aune/TV 2

Estimated: Natalia Fionskovskaya highly appreciated the visit of police officer Vasilyj Pipa.  Photo: Aage Aune/TV 2

Estimated: Natalia Fionskovskaya highly appreciated the visit of police officer Vasilyj Pipa. Photo: Aage Aune/TV 2

One of those who will be visited on this day is the Vjonskovsky family.

– The boys help us a lot. They are always interested to know what kind of help we need, says Natalya Vyonskovskaya, nodding to the two men.

The 52-year-old remained in the village to take care of his elderly parents. Earlier this winter, they attempted an eviction, only to return home after only five days.

– Yes, it’s dangerous here, what can I say, says Natalya.

– I’m not saying it’s safe, or that it’s harmless. But she is at home.

Great contradictions

Despite coming close to being bombed by Russia several times, Natalia is a ray of sunshine and an optimist.

The 52-year-old takes great pride in keeping the park in tip-top shape even though the front line is only a mile away.

She says she picked strawberries with a friend the day before:

– We picked strawberries and thought: “What’s going on with strawberries? Yes, champagne! So we sat together, ate strawberries, drank champagne and took selfies, ”says Natalya, laughing.

Missing: Natalia Fionskovskaya misses the other residents of the village, and hopes that the war will end soon.  Photo: Aage Aune/TV 2

Missing: Natalia Fionskovskaya misses the other residents of the village, and hopes that the war will end soon. Photo: Aage Aune/TV 2

But behind the laughter is the seriousness.

– We have learned what is important in life now. It’s health and family. Natalia says that everything else is not important.

– We feel the war in everything. We want peace. She says: I want everyone to come home again, because I miss them so much.

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Jabori Obasanjo

Jabori Obasanjo

"Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer."

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