This is the last part of the story about the Ford trucks for the military, presented in two parts. Here you will find more information about the marines and the situation at the front line. For the previous parts follow by links.
The first impression about the extreme positions near the Mariupol reminds about the Lord of the Rings movie. On the sideline under the fragments of metal lies the pointer Taganrog 101, covered with holes from bullets. The ground is covered with the concrete blocks, rusty antitank hedgehogs, barbed wire and signs with the pictures of the skulls and mines on them. Further on the east can be seen country, which was nicknamed Mordor. The enemy comes from there. Even the sky is completely dark, and shrouded with the deadly looking gray haze.
Yana and Sergiy distribute the receivers among the military. The soldiers are genuinely happy. Sor a security reasons the faces of the marines can not be disclosed completely
The marines is the last bastion of defense in this direction. The situation in here is quite tense. For now this is the hottest spot at the front line. The Mariupol is a strategic position. If the enemy seriously consider to get to the Crimea by land, it will be happening here. The positions located in the middle of the wild fields. No one can tell about the presence of at least one soul in here. Right here the commander of the Mariupol defense Vadym Sukharevskiy founds us. The volunteers come to the front line regularly, so he recognizes our faces.
Vadym Sukharevskiy at the front line
We go to the commander’s blindage. Despite the presence of a lot of people and difficulties of the life in the field the blindage is clean and comfortable. Right at the entrance the pot is bubbling on the stove. The woman-soldier fills the entire room with the aromas of fresh soup with garlic. Someone is dozing, the other soldier checks equipment, and someone is discussing the military tasks with the commander. Along with the three trucks we brought the soldiers warm antibacterial socks, thermal imager, night vision sights, special communication devices and some other surprises. Just a small talk, and Vadym packs a giant field bag with the necessary stuff, that will be transferred to the soldiers at the front line. Here are the equipment and even state awards. Vadym prefers to reward subordinates at the positions personally. The engraved knives are the personal presents from the commander for the soldiers, who distinguished themselves among the others during the service.
The whole bag of the warm socks, that are really useful at this time of the season at the front line
Vadim has an excellent reputation among the fighters. Colleague officers respect him. To the civillians he is known as the first officer at this war, who ordered to fire back, responding to the enemy’s attack. The Vadim’s unit was the one, that got out of the occupied territories, and continued to defense Ukraine.
The Front Line
Now we get into the cars and go to the positions of the Ukrainian soldiers. We won’t be telling details about the locations, because the information is classified.
Vadym carries the bag with the awards, ammunition and gadgets
The vanguard commander report the situation. Vadym orders one of the sick soldiers to see a doctor, and get treated for a couple of days, rather than postpone the illness it, which can cause the problem later. Especially at the front line. The doctor is standing nearby. The first aid kit is in his hands. It contains grenades along with the medicine. The weather is freezing, and winter makes it very easy to catch a cold. A lot of soldiers are sick, but there is no time for rest at the front line. Vadym carefully listens to all the problems, observe and make decisions. He is a strict commander, but treats the soldiers like a father would treat children.
On the way to the positions
The discipline at the battalion is as solid, as iron. The marines care about this themselves. One of the soldiers broke the discipline. Not a criminal case, but at the combat units such situations are usually resolved quickly and radically. Vadym tries to use the humane approach in the solution of the problems. This time he decides to give the guilty soldier a short break to solve personal problems, and return to service afterwards. A soldier is in the battle for the three years. We get out on the yard, and other soldiers turn to the commander with different issues.
The elements of the casual military life reflect the picture of the war perfectly. Among them you can find he Shot Frag Grenade 25 on the table, and few F-1 grenades at the closet along with some clothes
Villages are completely ruined by the war. The houses, that meant to serve as homes for dozens of years were ruined in minutes. The positions of the marines are regularly shelled along with the villages nearby. All buildings in there are perforated with the bullets.
This is the usual look of any surface at the villages near the front line
Minsk Agreements are the tricky thing, that exists only in the peaceful life conversations. At the front line explosions don’t stop for a moment. The terrorists fire from all calibers. The civil people and soldiers, who next to the front line learn to distinguish the shot sounds very quickly. Here you can hear the sounds of the DShK, riffles, AGS, and from time to time grenades and mortars.
Usual view of the streets in the villages near the front line
The defenders of Ukraine do their job properly. They learned to defend the borders of Ukraine staying in line with the Minsk Agreement. The enemy of Ukraine attacked the positions of the Ukrainian soldiers just before we arrived.
The mechanism like this is a deathly weapon against the enemy tanks
With every attack enemy meets the honorable rebuff. Sometimes it gets quiet for a while. But not for long. Even though mortars are in the middle of the fired, the positions are not visible from the side. Just a field, bushes and weed.
Few steps away from the enemy locations
Only few hundreds of meters separate the defenders of Ukraine from the enemy positions. There is a constant feeling that someone watches you or even follow all the time. In moments like that it is easy to understand why the soldiers need imagers or night vision devices. In this kind of area it is easy for the subversive group in disguise to come very close unnoticed even during the day, because of the bushes, woods, holes, bushlands and reeds. That is why we bring the advanced optics for the soldiers at the front line. This way we help Ukrainian soldiers to protect the border of Ukraine day and night from the enemy invasion. At the front line all this devices save life.
The faces of the hero soldiers we cannot disclose
Just around the corner can be seen the village cemetery. But there are no peace even in here. All the headstones covered with the bullet holes. Despite the absence of electricity and permanent shelling there are still people living at the village nearby.
We asked Vadym about the mood of the people at the village. He tells us that only twelve of them live here. Most of them are trying to help soldiers the way they can.
The main objective of the terrorists is to kill as many Ukrainians as possible
The road and surroundings are covered with deep holes. Here and there can bee seen the signs of the explosion of the 122 and 152 millimeter shells. All the walls, gates and fences are covered with holes from bullets and fragments. Suddenly, out of the bushes flies gigantic and colorful live pheasant. Despite the war, a lot of pheasants live here. They are large, thick, and walk around casually, like domesticated chicken.
One more juicy and delicious pheasant
There are a lot of animals at the front line. At each checkpoint, at every position we can see few cats and dogs. People are people, and running away from the deadly weapon under the gunshots they often forget about the pets, and leave them behind. The marines care of them the way they can.
The friend of the soldier
At the next stop Vadym awards the soldiers. This young defender of Ukraine is only 19 years old but showed himself as experienced and fearless fighter. He receives the engraved knife from the commander Vadym Sukharevskiy. The rest of the soldiers got the warm clothing.
The 19 year old fighter nicknamed Ax
Two of the defenders of Ukraine received the State Awards. The soldiers are inspired and grateful for the honor.
Vadym is not afraid to come personally to award the soldiers at the front line
We leave the positions quickly and move further. The roads are ruined by the heavy military machinery. One of the hummers help our Ford to get out of the mud. Few more soldiers join our crew and we move to the hottest spot of the front line.
Travelling with the soldiers to the front line in the military car full of the weapon brings very special experience
There is a little hell near the trenches today. The terrorists shell over the positions of Ukrainian soldiers with machine guns. In the sky over and over again can be seen the red lights of ATGM. The close contact with the enemy is very invigorating. The defenders of Ukraine are tired, dirty but always ready to protect the country.
The enemy is really near, so the weapon is everywhere: on the tables, beds, walls and at the doors
Soldiers in here know the enemies by the faces. The defenders of Ukraine prepared a few very unpleasant surprises for the invaders. The enemy can’t even imagine the power of the defense.
Few more photos before we go back home, and leave the soldiers alone to protect the border of Ukraine
The general impression is optimistic. Despite the betrayal in the media and social networks, despite the bullets and fragments, that hiss over the head in here we feel safer, than in Kyiv. In here everything is very simple. The bullet will kill you or not. You know where is the enemy and where are the friends. You have a little bit of food to eat and a few hours to sleep. The main task is to defend Ukraine at any price 24/7.
One of the imagers from the volunteers
In here it is easy to understand the scope of the war. Dozens of kilometers of fields and woods, where each centimeter is covered by Ukrainian marines. This is a formidable and compelling force, the iron wall against the enemy. Russia openly introduces troops to support the terrorists and shell the defenders of Ukraine from across the border. If there were no support of Russia, the Ukrainian soldiers would have cleared the territory up to the usual border of Ukraine just in a few days long ago. While this is impossible, the defenders of Ukraine hold the positions and keep the enemy from spreading further. It requires considerable effort.
And now we are at the command positions again. Vadym is sincerely thankful about the new truck. He will order to transfer the car to the soldiers that need it most. The scouts will take the most advantage of the new Fords at the front line.
Thanks to the Ukrainian marines the citizens of Mariupol will be sleeping calmly this night
In an hour we will get in to the train, that will bring us back home. Few kilometers behind can be seen Mariupol, where citizens are getting ready for sleep. We are sure that city is safe in the hands of the defenders of Ukraine.