My uncompromising attitude towards the Ukrainian events made me come to Donetsk. Sergei Ervandovich Kurginyan’s urge to the Ukrainian “Essence of Time” to go there also influenced me.
I was fully aware that I wouldn’t be able to return soon to my hometown, in which my comrades and I had to stop activities against the junta that seized the power.
My first impressions of Donetsk were completely positive. Though there were combat operations and the town was not crowded, it was at the same time neat and clean. People were friendly, though it was evident that they were exhausted by what was going on.
Unfortunately I didn’t attend the meeting with Sergei Kurginyan in Donetsk as I came to the city a week later.
We moved into the base of the “Vostok” battalion on 16 July 2014. At first everyone gathered in front of the base. All guys were in an elevated mood, they talked, joked. When everyone arrived, we moved in good order to the disposition of the training company.
For the first three weeks of our stay at the base of the battalion we were housed in a triple garage for military hardware, which was set aside for the training company. We put things in their places, allocated bunks. There was enough room for everyone, though it was pretty damp and dusty. Despite that, we kept the disposition clean, and there always were some goodies on the common table, as well as coffee, tea, drinks and juices.
The first night passed quickly: we led informative conversations about the situation in the country and the region till late at night.
Our first missions were kitchen details and material handling. We had good food in the mess-room, a summer shower and room for exercises. Later the disposition was moved to the school building not far off. There we stayed till the moment of departure from the base.
At first all of us took a little part in the work of the information center: we worked with the “rumors”, in social networks, also helped to support the work of the center on the technical side.
We had been making text reports from the first days of functioning of the information center and then reading them for the guys who were out at work during the day. These reports gradually turned into a “Combat Leaflet”, which was distributed among divisions even on the neighboring bases and combat positions. Our agitational group headed by the commander of the training company Chika went to mines and enterprises with the same combat leaflets and agitational materials (that I also took part in preparing). After the guys’ trips significantly more recruits than before came to the training company.
Commander Volga’s appeal, announced at the general meeting due to the worsening situation in the region (as there was a threat of encirclement of Donetsk), made me become a member of the combat group. More intensive training on tactics and team coordination began. There were also exercises in medicine and weapon handling.
Pyatnica, who joined us shortly after our arrival at the base of the battalion, made a great contribution to the education and training of the personnel of our platoon.
The first weeks of our service were full of new information and different events, ranging from training to emergency drills and air-raid alarms. I don’t remember the attacks on the base when I stayed there until my departure, but sometimes alarms were launched several times a day.
The brightest impressions of that stage include: the arrival of new comrades whom we were able to rely on; the feeling that we were jointly engaged in useful activity; the feeling that the team was developing and getting stronger every day.
Other stories of “Essence of Time” unit soldiers: “Essence of Time” unit in Donbass
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