Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Valeriy Zaluzhnyi personally awarded Ruslan Zubarev, a Ukrainian soldier of the 22nd Battalion of the 92nd Mechanized Brigade, call sign Khyzhak, with a personal award weapon - a 5.56 mm M4 automatic rifle and the Golden Cross insignia.
Khyzhak, a 21-year-old infantryman, performed a heroic deed in the battle near Svatovo on February 16, 2023 and in an interview with Yuriy Butusov, he told him that he had a pipe dream of buying a 5.56 mm rifle, but according to Ukrainian law, a soldier could only do so at the age of 25.
The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valeriy Zaluzhny received official information about the soldier's feat, watched the interview, and justly awarded the soldier. He did it personally! Now Khyzhyk has a unique insignia - an award machine from Zaluzhnyi!
The commander-in-chief of the army is one of the best soldiers, a young man.
This is a great inspiration and motivation for every soldier, an example that Zaluzhnyi has set for the army and the nation. It is a fair and touching appreciation of the soldier's skills and courage. Recognition of the merits of his commanders who trained and commanded the soldier. Respect for his family, who raised such a focused and mature person.
Establishing a tradition of personal rewarding of the best soldiers by the highest commander is the best recognition of the great feat of the Ukrainian infantry, which bears the greatest burden and is the backbone of Ukrainian defense.
Valeriy Zaluzhnyi: "I had the honor to award Ruslan Zubarev, a senior soldier of the 92nd Separate Mechanized Brigade named after Ivan Sirko, with the honorary Golden Cross medal and present him with a well-deserved award weapon. Ruslan repelled an attack by superior enemy forces, showed valor and courage in battle. I am grateful to everyone who is defending our homeland from the occupier. Glory to all the defenders of Ukraine!"
Later, in Kyiv, Yuriy Butusov talked to Ruslan Zubarev, a soldier with the 22nd Battalion of the 92nd Brigade, who was awarded the Golden Cross for successful combat and an M4A1 automatic rifle personally from the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Valeriy Zaluzhnyi.
How 21-year-old Khyzhak survived and won: "I shoot all types of infantry weapons, including 12.7 mm DShK. I improve my tactical skills in the game PUBG, I have a high rating in the NO MERCY clan."
It was interesting to understand the reason for such vigorous and conscious actions in the battle on February 16, how the 21-year-old Khyzhyk survived and won his first contact combat in his life:
1. He acted continuously and consciously for 30 minutes of the battle, maintained high combat effectiveness, although his trench and he were constantly under fire from machine and machine guns from a distance of 5-6 meters, and at least 6 hand grenades exploded on the parapet next to him, with which the Russians tried to hit him.
2. Constantly monitored the situation from the flanks and the front of the position, raised his head above the parapet, despite the high risk.
3. He tried to conduct exclusively targeted fire, despite the numerical superiority of the enemy, who was suppressing his position. He never fired "Somali style" in the direction of fire, but always tried to see where he was hitting.
4. In the battle, he used 2 cumulative and 1 fragmentation shot from an RPG-7 grenade launcher, an AT-4 grenade launcher (he deliberately left the Matador in reserve to fight armored vehicles), a VOG-25 under-barrel grenade launcher and more than 30 grenades to it, 6 hand grenades, a 7.62 mm machine gun and two 5.45 mm assault rifles. Moreover, in the battle, he encountered a weapon wedge several times with two assault rifles and one shot from an RPG-7, but did not panic, but tried to correct the misfires as quickly as possible, changed weapons and continued the battle.
5. Constantly communicated, clearly reported the situation to the commander and asked for the situation in order to understand the enemy's position according to the quadcopter data and adjust his own fire. He reported on the consumption of ammunition.
6. He gave constant clear commands to his inexperienced partner, whom he tried to calm down with his voice and manner of address. 5 times during the battle he addressed his comrades as "please".
He made the following conclusions:
1. Khyzhyk is a responsible and conscious person in terms of combat work. He has commanders whom he trusts, understands the logic of orders, and tries to perform his tasks well.
2. Khyzhyk has a good upbringing, he respects his elders, treats all people with respect, and is focused and concentrated when communicating. "Until I was 15, I played soccer all the time, in Zaporizhzhia. I joined the army on a contract because I didn't want to lose a year and a half of my life on conscript service, it was better to really learn something."
3. He realizes that infantry is a hard, constant cyclical job, and he tries to do it as well as possible. "I try not to eat much, I would have been hindered by a lot of weight. As an infantryman, I have to withstand heavy loads, I need endurance, not weight. I have to carry significant loads on foot to the position off-road, all on my own for one or two days, then perform tasks in limited conditions for one or two days, so I try to keep myself in the same shape and mode as I am in the war."
4. He got used to recording his actions on video and analyzing them: "I have a GoPro 10 camera. It was damaged by a piece of shrapnel. In another battle, when I stood next to a large-caliber DShK machine gun, I did not hear a Russian quadcopter hovering over us and throwing a grenade at me. One of the fragments hit my camera, but I taped it up and it works fine. At the front, I started making videos for Tik-Tok, people like them, so I will continue. I will keep the channel, maybe I will open a channel on Youtube. I like shooting, editing videos about it, people like to watch it."
5. "I have mastered all the weapons that my unit has. I was in Odesa on vacation after the battle, and I had a good time, we played a lot of paintball. I wish I had done it earlier. Paintball is a very good preparation for contact combat, I highly recommend it."
6. "Where did I get my tactical thinking? I communicate with commanders, I already have some experience. I improve my tactical thinking in the game PUBG, which is also a multiplayer shooter. I have a high rating in this game, I play in the NO MERCY clan, so when I return from combat missions, and sometimes I have a few hours off, I play PUBG."
7. "I try to communicate with people who write to me, I like it. Thanks to the help of subscribers, my unit purchased two Mavic-3 quadcopters. Now I get a lot of people writing to me, I try to respond, I am honored that so many people show me respect. I receive a lot of help and attention from volunteers, which is very inspiring and motivates me to keep working until we win. I have no doubts about our victory and I am trying to do everything a soldier in the infantry has to do for it."
Yuriy Butusov, editor in chief censor.net, war correspondent and true patriot of Ukrainekhyzhak ruslan zubarev russia ukraine war ukraine front lines zaluzhnyi