Essence of Time unit in Donbass. Nov-Dec 2014. Information Center work. Pamir


November 2014 was an anxious month for the Information Center. Despite the fact that main work on producing video reports, gathering and publishing Vostok brigade’s press-center situation reports was already customary, Vostok brigade’s combat leaflets were published regularly, our guys entering their positions in the airport was a difficult moment. Everyday we were receiving situation reports on the wounded, were worried about our comrades.

At the time Kot, while temporarily being in the ranks of the combat group, also entered the positions in the airport. This way there were only four of us left in the Information Center (IC). It was hard to manage everything. Lots of journalists arrived to heated events, and we had to interact with them, representing Vostok brigade press-center – coordinating trips to the part of the war zone, for which Vostok was responsible. Many had to be accompanied by IC members, which, in case someone was in the field, essentially stopped the work of the IC. Nevertheless, the IC was working, regularly filming reports, and fought the panic online and low-grade false news by gathering the information and covering the real state of the battles.

The obscurity of the combat situation, various ambiguous interpretations of certain events on the front, sometimes simply purposeful false news stories aimed at compromising the militia, were a regular “front” of our informational activity, and thanks to the enormous help of all of Essence of Time movement with spreading the information, we managed to extinguish many provocations of various degrees.

I remember a peculiar story, when out of the blue, with no particular reason – Ukrainian Nazis were adjusting the fire of a tank on positions near Yasinovataya – large-scale panic erupted online: it was being reported that a horrible tank assault on Yasinovataya had begun. Various kinds of social media groups titled like “Strelkov‘s Situation Reports” published information of “trustworthy and trusted sources” that 50 Ukrainian tanks rushed into Yasinovataya, all lines of defense are breached, and Vostok is disgracefully fleeing its positions.

We, having been blown away by such information (it was calm in Yasinovataya on that day as never before, there was not a fly near our positions near Yasinovataya), started the active refutation process. First we published situation reports, after which we started to give refutation in various panic groups. Then we simply went and filmed a report at the positions near Yasinovataya, where the enemy supposedly “crushed” everyone a long time ago, with one of the Vostok brigade commanders. After this, “suddenly”, “Strelkov’s Situation Reports” published new “trustworthy information from a trusted source” that certain units “loyal to Strelkov” arrived as reinforcements and managed to burn all 50 tanks and the attack on Yasinovataya was repelled.

This is how the four of us “countered” a “tank attack” on Yasinovataya online. Afterwards this story echoed in the questions of journalists belonging to quite serious mass media. “So, how’s Yasinovataya holding?” they said. “Where are the destroyed tanks? We want to film them.”

Communication with comrades in the airport at the time was difficult, since the guys were pretty much without rotation, were very tired and it was not that easy to meet. Nevertheless, every meeting was very joyful. I remember how Kot returned from the airport very smoke-darkened, dirty, in a bulletproof vest and helmet, with shining eyes. I barely recognized him! A little in the airport changed him a lot, he got more stern. He wanted to go back to the positions a lot, but the necessity of securing normal IC work demanded his involvement, and he confidently joined the activity. Nevertheless, Kot kept recalling various combat stories for a while, being nostalgic about the dirty and cold days and nights, being shelled on the positions in the airport, missing the simplicity of socializing, mutual support and the cleanness of human relationships at times when death walks near.

In November we had our first wounded. I remember how I came to the base one evening and got a call from Mars, who said that Matros had been injured in the eye by shrapnel. I had chills over my spine, I was scared for my comrade, the situation was not clear to the end. There was great risk that he will lost his eye. After the situation on the injury got more clear, the hospital said that the eye will be saved.

After that Accord and Goodwin were injured – a mortar shell exploded nearby. Accord was heavily injured, a shell fragment cut his femoral artery, and only thanks to the rapid reaction of comrades and the use of a wonderful Celox medicine (a hemostatic agent, seals the wound), which comrades from Essence of Time managed to get for us, his life was saved. Despite the loss of the critical two liters of blood, Accord was saved.

Then there were other guys with less heavy injuries. Concussions occurred in the airport almost daily, so light concussions often weren’t even considered as injuries.

I remember how we felt here, in the homefront, were anxious. We attentively listened to the HQ situation reports, established contacts in the battalion’s medical service. Asked every day if anybody got injured, if everything is fine, what medicine is necessary and what the injured need. We helped do the paperwork for the injured, asked the medics reports on their conditions, brought food products – paid them visits. This way, the Informcenter partly took up the the functions of following and helping the injured. Essence of Time civil activists in Donetsk helped a lot in this as well. It also must be mentioned how all of Essence of Time organization supported us, joining the aid process, trying to quickly find and deliver to Donetsk the scarce medicine for our wounded comrades.

But the battle of January 17 was ahead.

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

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