The ongoing war in Ukraine has transformed the lives of countless average citizens who have taken up arms to defend their homeland against the aggressor. Many of these individuals had no previous combat experience, but have since become professional service people, completely dedicated to protecting their homes.
One such individual is "Akademik," a machine gunner from Melitopol, who previously worked at a ferroalloy plant. He initially joined the fight out of a sense of duty to his country but admits that his first battle was a terrifying experience.
"In the first battle, I was terrified, I thought my heart would jump out of my chest," Akademik recalls. "I was afraid for my brothers."
Despite this fear, “Akademik” continued to fight, and with every battle he gained experience and confidence. He is now an experienced soldier and a vital member of his unit.
While incredible, Akademik's story is not unique. Volunteer soldiers who joined the Territorial Defense Forces have had to learn how to fight and defend themselves in the face of their powerful enemy.
They have become a symbol of hope for many Ukrainians, who see them as an outstanding example of what can be achieved when every day citizens come together to defend their homeland. They have become truly extraordinary.
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