Volga, the commander of "Essence of Time" combat unit in Donbass.
When I recall the events that happened almost a year ago, individual moments and events, and faces flash before my eyes. It is hard to start.
I will begin with the day I first met the guys who had come from different cities of Ukraine. July 2014. Traitor Strelkov had already surrendered Slavyansk to Bandera Nazis. The Armed Forces of Ukraine were on the fringes of Donetsk.
The guys came to the meeting with Sergey Ervandovich Kurginyan (the leader of the “Essence of Time” movement – Editor) in Donetsk as a small bunch, there were around 30 – 35 people. The meeting was held under the open sky. It was a sunny day. Sergey Ervandovich thanked everybody who came to the meeting for their willingness to act. He warned that it is going to be hard, that they needed to think twice before taking such a big step as joining the “Essence of Time” mission in Donetsk People’s Republic. He introduced me as the man he leaves “in charge”. The guys looked confused and determined at the same time, and that made a very strange impression. They asked questions, often naive, and received calm and thorough responses from Sergey Ervandovich. And then he left.
Until our next meeting there was a pause for a week and a half. This pause was given to the guys in order for them to think it over again. I needed to resolve the issues with the accommodation, food and status of the “Essence of Time” members who have gathered in Donetsk.
Based on the objectives of the mission, namely, news coverage of the events, organization of collecting and delivering humanitarian aid for Donbass, awareness-building among the local population, etc. – by default, it was necessary to communicate with the volunteer militia members. So the guys needed to quickly and efficiently “dive” into this environment, to understand it, to be accepted with respect, and only then to consciously decide, whether they would remain in the mission on a permanent basis.
I must say that everyone managed to do it quickly and efficiently, although it was difficult. They didn’t know each other well. The vast majority the “Essence of Time” members gathered in Donetsk not only faced aspects of military service for the first time in their lives, but they had no experience of community life whatsoever, and especially in, frankly speaking, not too comfortable conditions. The guys “sweated out” kitchen details, unloaded food and ammunition. There were lots of comical situations. They did it. They grew stronger. And they used this experience later on.
What helped us most to overcome various kinds of difficulties was our common goal. Everyone was keenly aware of the threat of “maidan” madness coming to Donbass, felt the fetid breath of Bandera Nazism, could clearly see the grin of death. We were tightly welded with a common cause, a common ideology. And that was our power. The power that the guys, perhaps, didn’t realize at first. But the militia quickly felt this power.
By mid-August of 2014 the guys had accustomed to the militia.
Editor: Only half a year later, on January 17, 2015 “Essence of Time” unit repelled a full-scale onslaught of “Right Sector” militants, foreign mercenaries and Ukrainian military. Three of our comrades died in that battle, fourteen were wounded. But the airport remained under the control of the militia and Donetsk was safe thanks to them. Below you can watch a documentary about the events of January 17, 2015: