In the face of relentless adversity, Ukrainian defenders continually exemplify unwavering courage and determination. Pavlo, shares his gripping experience on the frontlines. "My unit's first combat deployment was in August 2022, on the Kherson front. To be honest, I was nervous, but it didn't affect my motivation at all. Now I understand that it was due to a lack of combat experience," recalls Pavlo with the call sign "Pakha." He is a Ukrainian Defender from the 122nd brigade of the TDF
"When they told me we were going to Bakhmut, I was calm. I knew what to do, and unterstood what I was fighting for. I had a cool head and a fiery heart. However, I think everyone understands how intense the rotation was at that point. It was hot. Literally on the second day, we came under fire. Tank units had just "worked" from our zone, and the enemy quickly calculated and hit us within about four hours."
In the midst of the chaos and danger, the unit faced devastating artillery shelling, and Pavlo found himself in the line of fire. Despite being hit directly, he miraculously survived, albeit with a concussion and bruises. Regrettably, some of his comrades-in-arms weren't as fortunate. "After the artillery shelling, they evacuated me and I received medical treatment in the hospital for ten days until I was ready to return to duty. 'Ten days and that's it, back to the front lines.' I didn't even think of staying in the hospital. However, I didn't return to Bakhmut. Our unit was pulled out, and we ended up serving outside the city. It wasn't a resort by any means either, but it was much calmer there."
Pavlo's dedication and resilience are emblematic of the spirit that embodies Ukrainian defenders. They face perilous situations head-on, displaying unwavering commitment to their homeland and fellow soldiers.
As "Pakha's" unit was later relocated to the Kharkiv front, they continued their valiant efforts in observing and defending the border with Russia. For his exemplary performance, courage, and patriotism during active combat actions, Pavlo was rightfully honored with the "Steel Cross" honorary breastplate by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Back home, Pavlo's wife and two children eagerly await the return of their hero, knowing that the safety and freedom of their country depend on the bravery of such dedicated defenders. "My home, my land is not limited to the fence surrounding my own house. My home is Ukraine, and I will stand with her until victory, which is already close, I am sure of it."
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