Defender’s Diary: Warrior Journalist
Ihor Lutsenko, 44, is an online journalist and a public figure. An activist during the Euromaidan, Ihor is currently serving as a soldier in the 72nd Separate Mechanized Brigade. This year’s winter is especially difficult, because the enemy is insidiously destroying civilian infrastructure and trying to freeze Ukraine. Read about why the enemy is targeting the sources of our heat, and why it will not succeed, in Ihor’s diary entry.
War in winter, and war in summer, are two completely different wars.
The windows in Vuhledar whistle all day long. The wind hunts after our warmth day and night; if you stop for a moment, all of life flows quickly out of your arms and legs. It takes a lot of time to get rid of the paralysis of the cold and warm your body back up.
While a person is freezing, it becomes difficult to think, and their will grows weaker; the prospect of endless winter casts its shadow over the future.
The enemy endures the cold too. I saw russians burning a fire in a stove right at the frontlines, thereby exposing their position with smoke. Apparently, they fear the steppe’s cold more than our artillery fire.
But I am thinking about other matters.
My journey to the frontline takes me past the graves of my relatives who died during the Holodomor. This is literally the case, and I can see them with my mind’s eye; they are watching me, from the other world, as I go to fight in this timeless war.
They speak to me: "This cold you’re experiencing now is one one-thousandth of the cold we saw in the winter of 1932-33. And the weapon you are now holding in your hands is a thousand times more powerful than we had. Years of our torment predicated your good fortune, and you are the part of our family tree against whom their weapons will break. You may not be the strongest of us, but with your hands, death shall die, and life shall live."