Essence of Time unit in Donbass. The Beginning. Pamir


War for Ukraine started for me long before the active combat in the South-East. A clear and distinct sign of war was the first so-called dispersion of maidan on the night of November 30-December 1. I realized what is happening and the slogan of our rallies in support of the Syrian people “Today they came for Syria, tomorrow they will come for Ukraine” is coming to life.

Unfortunately, I (though, like the whole Kiev cell of “Essence of Time” movement) could not oppose anything to the process, despite the fact that there was a lot I could explain about what was happening. Our humble attempts to influence the media space (talking to people,  taking part in TV programs and interviews to journalists), as well as campaigns in support of “Berkut” police and the internal troops, brought no significant results.

The victory of maidan, the Nazi coup d’etat that occurred, had me faced with a new reality, in which the former way of living became impossible for me, including for strictly moral reasons.

After the start of the armed resistance of people of Donbass against the Kiev junta, and after Sergei Kurginyan (leader of “Essence of Time” movement – Editor) urged all “Essence of Time” members in Ukraine who currently live in the temporary Nazi-occupied territories to go to Donbass, I started to finish my business in Kiev and pack things. I already realized that I’m not coming back to Kiev any time soon.

I arrived to Donetsk just when Strelkov fled from Slavyansk – right after Kurginyan left (read more on Strelkov’s betrayal and surrender of half of DPR territory to Ukrainian fascists in the course of a few hours and his failed plan to surrender Donetsk and start a coup in Russia in the extended Editor’s note here – Editor).

I remember waking up early in the morning in the train approaching Donetsk and saw the Donetsk People’s Republic flag painted on the train station. A sudden feeling of lightness and liberty descended upon me, as if I managed to escape from under a heavy press. That was when I fully realized how hard it is to live on territories controlled by criminals who took power in Kiev.

Comrades met me on the train station. That was when I met Igor Yudin (Bolgarin), the coordinator of Donetsk “Essence of Time” cell. The first few days we lived in an apartment, that was where we had meetings and got acquainted with other “Essence of Time” members, who arrived to Donetsk. The explosions were already heard during the nights. The war was already on the outskirts.

The beauty of the city of Donetsk became unexpected to me. I did not imagine the capital of a miner’s region to look like this.

Donetsk. August 2015.

Donetsk. August 2015 (click for best resolution)

A vista in center of Donetsk

A vista in center of Donetsk

“Sever” and I even spent one whole day walking around the city. At the same time, the city was quite empty. There were few cars and people on the streets.



I remember well the sunny day when we, finally, after several cancellations, gathered and went to the base where we were supposed to enlist to people’s militia – to “Vostok” (it was a battalion back then).

There, before we entered the base, was the first meeting of the whole team of the “Essence of Time” mission in Donbass. I saw some of the guys for the first time there, we met each other and were happy to meet. A clear memory is how somebody brought dumbbells, which I carried from the gates of the base to the road. We were enlisted in the training company that same day to the 15-year old commander Royce. We slept on the improvised beds made from boxes and flooring in the car repair bay.

On the next day we already went on a “combat mission” – to load the railroad ties to organize covering for dugouts. I remember how inspired were the guys to join the work, how dashingly we loaded three “KamAZ” trucks full of railroad ties. Then there was the summer shower, in which we washed off the dirt and sweat with cool water. Everybody was in their lifted spirits, there was a feeling that we are finally involved in fighting, start to help with our own efforts.

In the course of the next weeks we overlapped, as much as we could, various duties, loading works, weapon training and combat tactics. That time was intense and hot.

At the same time the work of the Information Center was being tuned. Alan Mamiev did most of the filming at that time. The rest had divided the areas of gathering information from open sources regarding the combats, movement of military hardware, incidents in the city. Based on this data, among other things, the map of combat activities was being made.

Receiving rusty AKMs from 1950s for training purposes was a big event. We were cleaning these assault rifles for several days, brought into more or less worthy external condition. A lot of them were so rusty that using them as combat weapons was not possible. Nevertheless, it was an important and very exciting event – we had weapons.

I remember what a strong impressions the first air-raid alarms had on me, when we had to run to the shelter during the night.

I clearly remember the first combat alarm, when we, still having educational assault rifles, were standing for about two hours on the square outside in the early morning, near the trucks, in uneasy anticipation and some confusion, without understanding – what do we do, if they tell us to get on the trucks, how do we react, where do we receive weapons and ammunition.

This is how the work of our mission started.


Other stories of “Essence of Time” unit soldiers: “Essence of Time” unit in Donbass

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