Essence of Time unit in Donbass. The Becoming. Altay

 

I started to act as an operator for the first time immediately after the liberation of Yasinovataya. It’s the northern satellite town of Donetsk, an important railway junction. Having lost control of the city, fascists began to heavily shell the residential areas of Yasinovataya. The “Vostok” brigade sent a humanitarian convoy into the town, and I got a task to make a report about the delivery of food to the civilian population. On the way back the convoy had to pick up women, the elderly and children to evacuate them to Donetsk.

In those August days the Ukrainian artillery shelled Donetsk tirelessly, and I had already got used to the roar that was heard throughout the city. But, approaching Yasinovataya, for the first time I heard the roar that close. A distinct smell of powder was in the air; the sounds of exploding shells were heard from all sides. The city was largely destroyed. There were almost no people outside, only occasionally one could see somebody peeping out through the doors of basements. A large number of stray dogs immediately caught the eye.

Our convoy stopped in one of the densely populated blocks, and people slowly began to come up to the trucks to get some bread, canned stewed meat and water. Taking products, people immediately fled back to their basements. Many of them didn’t come out at all, as they felt safe only underground. There was horror and lack of understanding on people’s faces. They couldn’t understand how it is possible that in the 21st century peaceful cities are deliberately destroyed by large-caliber artillery. And that was being done by the army of the country which they had recently identified themselves with. Seeing all that, I realized how important it had been to stop fascists on Grushevskogo street… (the street that was captured by Right Sector and other radicals during the Maidan of 2013-2014 in Ukraine. While Maidan square was a “peacefully protesting” front stage of the coup in Ukraine and was demonstrated by Western media to its audience, Grushevskogo street radicals were its stormtroopers mostly ignored by Western media. Some of the pictures of the radicals fighting the police in Kiev of 2013-2014 can be found here – Editor)

This was my first report in DPR:

 

Vostok battalion medical service worker handing out medicine to residents of Yasinovataya. August 23, 2014.  Still from EoT-DPR TV Issue 140

Vostok battalion medical service worker handing out medicine to residents of Yasinovataya. August 23, 2014. Still from EoT-DPR TV Issue 140

Distribution of humanitarian aid by Vostok battalion. Yasinovataya. August 23, 2014.  Still from EoT-DPR TV Issue 140

Distribution of humanitarian aid by Vostok battalion. Yasinovataya. August 23, 2014. Still from EoT-DPR TV Issue 140

"We in Yasinovataya are very afraid. Very afraid. We hide in basements. It's very hard." Yasinovataya, August 23, 2014.  Still from EoT-DPR TV Issue 140

“We in Yasinovataya are very afraid. Very afraid. We hide in basements. It’s very hard.” Yasinovataya, August 23, 2014. Still from EoT-DPR TV Issue 140

"Thank you." Yasinovataya, August 23, 2014.  Still from EoT-DPR TV Issue 140

“Thank you.” Yasinovataya, August 23, 2014. Still from EoT-DPR TV Issue 140

By the end of August we had 3 functioning operators: Bolgarin, Gazetchik and me. Since none of us previously shot videos, a decision was made to send us to our comrades in Rostov-on-Don for training.

I didn’t know Bolgarin too well before our travel to Rostov. In fact, only when crossing the border we first started calling each other by our real names. I saw that the modest guy Igor was actually a strong, high-principled and courageous man. A real member of the Essence of Time movement.

Just in a few days we learned the basics of cameraman profession. Right angle, exposure, manual focus – and our videos began to look much better. For this – a big thank you to our instructor.

Igor in addition learned the skills of a correspondent:

 

Igor Yudin, call sign Bolgarin, reporting from a refugee camp for residents of Ukraine in Rostov region, Russia. September 2014.  Still from EoT-DPR TV Issue 236

Igor Yudin, call sign Bolgarin, reporting from a refugee camp for residents of Ukraine in Rostov region, Russia. September 2014. Still from EoT-DPR TV Issue 236

Igor Yudin, call sign Bolgarin, reporting from a refugee camp for residents of Ukraine in Rostov region, Russia. September 2014.  Still from EoT-DPR TV Issue 236

Igor Yudin, call sign Bolgarin, reporting from a refugee camp for residents of Ukraine in Rostov region, Russia. September 2014. Still from EoT-DPR TV Issue 236

"We had to leave when it became too dangerous to leave the basement, impossible to buy anything, there was nothing in the stores. I feel great here, I go to the kitchen to help the girls. If not for them, what would we do? If they didn't give us such a shelter." "Do you plan to return to Lugansk after the war?" "Yes." Rostov region, Russia. September 2014.  Still from EoT-DPR TV Issue 236

“We had to leave when it became too dangerous to leave the basement, impossible to buy anything, there was nothing in the stores. I feel great here, I go to the kitchen to help the girls. If not for them, what would we do? If they didn’t give us such a shelter.” “Do you plan to return to Lugansk after the war?” “Yes.” Rostov region, Russia. September 2014. Still from EoT-DPR TV Issue 236

Orthodox chapel in the refugee camp. Rostov region. September 2014.   Still from EoT-DPR TV Issue 236

Orthodox chapel in the refugee camp. Rostov region. September 2014. Still from EoT-DPR TV Issue 236

After 4 days of training we returned to Donetsk and established a regular work of EoT-DPR TV. We started going to mine clearing with sapper Kot (not to be confused with Essence of Time mission member Kot – Editor). From the first minute of my acquaintance with Kot and his group of sappers, I realized that these people really knew their business. Therefore, shooting the demining of unexploded shells, enemy mines and trip wires, I confidently trusted them with my life.

One of the reports of mine clearing shot in early September 2014:

 

Defusing a mine. September 9, 2014.  Still from EoT-DPR TV Issue 179

Defusing a mine. Dolya village, DPR. September 9, 2014. Still from EoT-DPR TV Issue 179

In mid-September the operation to liberate Panteleimonovka and lifting the blockade of Gorlovka started; our Independent Tactical Group Essence of Time also participated in the operation. At that time I was assigned to the group of volunteers from Ossetia who were positioned at that time at the probable place of breakthrough of the Ukrainian army in Zemlyanki village. I spent three days with the Ossetians, sleeping on the floor of an abandoned house and taking cover from artillery shelling in an old cellar – locals let us inside. I was impressed by the discipline of the Ossetian unit. The younger militiamen unquestioningly did what the elder ones said, foul language was immediately stopped. It was obvious that the motivation of these people is solely to help the fraternal Orthodox people. Most of them were experienced warriors who had been at war with Georgian fascism in their native Ossetia. Many of them spoke about the sense of duty to their grandfathers who fought in the Great Patriotic War.

One of those Ossetians – call sign “Volonter”:

 

Altay: "How do you think this war will end?" Call sign Volunteer: "With our victory, of course." September 14, 2014.  Still from EoT-DPR TV Issue 187

Altay: “How do you think this war will end?” Call sign Volonter: “With our victory, of course.” September 14, 2014. Still from EoT-DPR TV Issue 187

The shelling of the town didn’t cease. Every day people were killed, those who just six months ago could not imagine that a “Grad” missile could fly into the window of their apartment in an apartment building and destroy everything and everyone. Unwillingly I quickly learned the streets of Donetsk, since I constantly went to places of new attacks. One of those journeys was on 1 October, 2014. It was the beginning of the school year in DPR, postponed for a month due to the war. A few “Uragan” shells exploded in Kievsky district, killing at least 8 people. Missiles hit near the school №57, where Knowledge Day was celebrated. The children made it to the basement, a teacher was killed.

Kievsky avenue. Donetsk. October 1, 2014.  Still from EoT-DPR TV Issue 213

A civilian bus got hit by Ukrainian shells. Passengers inside died in the shelling and fire. Kievsky avenue. Donetsk. October 1, 2014, the first day of school. Still from EoT-DPR TV Issue 213

Kiev's punitive forces delivering on Poroshenko's promise to have children of Donbass hide in basements instead of going to school. Children hide in basement as OSCE inspects shelled school №57. October 1, 2014.  Still from EoT-DPR TV Issue 213

Kiev’s punitive forces following the orders of Poroshenko’s to have children of Donbass hide in basements instead of going to school. Children hide in basement as OSCE inspects shelled school №57. October 1, 2014. Still from EoT-DPR TV Issue 213

The OSCE monitor listening to the translation of what the woman says: "Why everyone cares if one person dies in another country, but nobody's listening when hundreds, thousands get killed here. After all, the whole world needs to stand up and see what is happening here. Because today they came for us, tomorrow they will come for them. Don't you understand that a horrible enemy is rising? It must be destroyed know." October 1, 2014.  Still from EoT-DPR TV Issue 213

The OSCE monitor listening to the translation of what the woman says: “Why everyone cares if one person dies in another country, but nobody’s listening when hundreds, thousands get killed here. After all, the whole world needs to stand up and see what is happening here. Because today they came for us, tomorrow they will come for them. Don’t you understand that a horrible enemy is rising? It must be destroyed know.” October 1, 2014. Still from EoT-DPR TV Issue 213

Before arriving to Donetsk I’ve never seen burned bodies of people. I’ve never seen dismembered children. Seeing that, one asks himself: “What did I do to stop this?” It so happened that my mission is to show make everyone see what is happening here. My mission is to make everyone ask themselves the question, “What did I do to stop this?”

 

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

Source (for copy): http://eu.eot.su/?p=8857

 

We encourage republishing of our translations and articles, but ONLY with mentioning the original article page at eu.eot.su (link above).
 
 
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