Yarik joined the KPS team in June 2018 – after quitting his service in Donbas he decided to radically change his profession and learn to program. He studied at our school, gradually grew professionally, and later became the main developer in the AIN.UA project.
I stayed at home for a while, but when I received a text from the military enlistment office, decided to go, cause I just couldn’t hide or ignore it.
My daughter is three years, and she already understands that something is wrong, that there is a global problem around. My wife explains to her: "Dad stayed at home to expel bad people from Ukraine." She is already singing the national anthem, but it started long before the war.
There is, of course, fear, but our hands are not shaking yet, we only hate our enemies, and we gain strength and new skills each day. And I do believe in victory, of course, but it is, in my opinion, far far away. It's good that the family is abroad, I feel calmer.
We had time to learn something here. We are far from SWAT, of course, but people with a lot of experience have trained us meticulously. There have been no battles so far, so I do not know how this training will prove itself. But everyone sincerely wants to destroy every russian soldier.
As in normal life in a large team, interest groups appear, and I have a basic circle of 5-6 people with whom we sleep side by side, and do everything all together. But it's not like it was in Donbas on my first service.
In 2014, I earned a real friend in the war. 15 years older, he had to leave his house in Donetsk, because he did not want to live in the so-called DPR. He took the family to the Dnipro, and went to serve in the army. We shared an interest in either Prodigy or Rage against the machine. Nowadays, he serves in the Kyiv local defence forces.
In the summer of 2014, I was in the Donetsk region, in the district of Mariupol, Starobeshevo, and went through the Ilovaysky massacre. From autumn to demobilization in May 2015, we were based in Severodonetsk and the nearest villages.
I was in the motorized rifle battalion, we worked at checkpoints that delimited the controlled and uncontrolled territories of Donbas. I delivered food to the positions, helped the cooks in the field kitchen, and guarded the ammunition warehouse.
Conditions are so far more than acceptable. Food, uniforms, everything's fine. The army issued some things, the others I bought by myself or got through volunteers, friends, and KPS teammates.
People around here are different. Most did not serve in the army, and only here took an oath. Between 20 and 60 years. Someone came here because they didn't have a job, someone lost their income because of the war, and here, after all, there's a salary. Someone quit their job, decided that they would be more useful in the army.
Some are educated and thoughtful people, others are not. Yes, we are all different, but, you know, basically, we are the same. Everyone is united by the love of the country and the thirst to fight against the russian killers.