Five stories of Ukrainian veterans in the documentary “Voice of War”

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Why did people of peaceful background volunteer to get to the front line? What was the war for them? What helped them to adapt to that “parallel reality”? Why is it so important for veterans to be heard? Answers to these questions can be found in the documentary “Voice of War.

“Veterans’ Stories” and the book with the same title, which containes nearly three dozen stories of participants of combat actions. The project was carried out by the Internews-Ukraine public organization.
To give the opportunity to speak to those who went through the war so that “community would hear their voice without distortion and filters” – such was the idea of the project “Voice of War. Veterans’ Stories “.
Internews-Ukraine, with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Ministry of International Affairs of Canada, and the International Renaissance Foundation, is implementing the project, mainly, within the School of Journalism for ATO fighters, and encourages the veterans to speak up both, in written words, and in front of the camera.
This book, “The Voice of War. Stories of Veterans”, includes 29 stories written by 22 participants of combat operations from different parts of Ukraine.
These are men and women of mostly non-military background who in 2014 decided that their place is / was at the front line. In their stories they frankly say that the war has become a watershed, it has changed their views on all the familiar things, and on themselves.
Commentaries of 5 participants of the project were shown in the short documentary film with the same name. Those are: a biologist Bijan Sharopov, a professor of economics Larisa Radkevich, a marketer Sergei Mischenko, an entrepreneur Vadim Pavlovsky, and a pianist Igor Mykhailyshyn.

Video credits: RadioSvoboda YouTube
“By the time you bring yourself up to say something – you are no longer being heard”.
“Each of us recalls the war every day,” says Vadim Pavlovsky, a fighter of the 14-th individual mechanized brigade of the Armed Forces, from Vinnytsia. “But when they ask me, “How is it to be there?”, By the time you find the proper words to describe it, you are no longer being listened to”.
Before the war, Larisa Radkevich was a professor at the Donetsk State University of Economics and Trade. She left Donetsk, and in July of 2015 enrolled into military service in the rank of lieutenant, her unit was the Dnipro-1 battalion, one many battalions that were hastily organized by Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs.
“My man went enrolled, and I followed. At war I learned to listen … That’s why I’m studying further – as a psychologist”, “Laura” says. “Laura” is her military nickname.
“War is a test for endurance, because there is always something missing. If you eat food, you will not have enough water and suffer from thirst. After all, you have nothing besides what you are wearing on your own back, ” says biologist, now a teacher of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Bzhan Sharopov. Now he is engaged in an experimental science, and on active duties – with “Aidar” battalion – he was doing everything that needed to be done at war. The helped the wounded.
“I went to war to protect Ukrainian inside of me,” says Sharopov, who was born in Tajikistan, the nickname “Bijan”.
“My overdue task is to write a book “What do medics feel? ” This is about the situations when you have only two bandages and three wounded soldiers. One of them is your friend, but he has very slim chance of surviving”, says a marketer from Kyiv Sergiy Mischenko, the nickname “Yar “.
First time in his life Sergiy Mishchenko had to work as a nurse was on Maidan, when he helped people during clashes on “Hrushevsky”. Sergiy went to war in May of 2014, and became a combat medic of an assault company battalion “Donbass”. His unit liberated Popasnoy and Lisichansk, he had been caught / imprisoned in Ilovaysky pocket, and spent a few days as a POW, captured by the regular Russian army combat forces.
“It was so hard to return to peaceful life, I was numb – my friends helped me to get out of it. I learned to ride the public transport again”, – Sergei smiles sadly.
Igor Mikhailyshyn, besides being a lawyer, also played piano before the war, he continued to play in the war and is learning now to do it even better.
“All in all, I have a lot of stories connected to my music instrument … I had always been looking for a place where I can play … Then I finally sent the synthesizer to the front line. I felt disappointed when I realized that for me, the jurisprudence has lost its appeal.
And after returning from my active duty, I was offered to study music, and I went for it”, the instructor from the shooting and grenade launching case Donbass battalion with the calligraphy” Pianist “tells, but now a student of the Kyiv Glier Institute of Music.
Igor spent 120 days in captivity after the “Ilovaysky pocket”. Now he writes a novel about “his” war.


Image credits: google.
Source: radiosvoboda
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