Nikolay, from Kyiv
The National Guard, Central Military Clinical Hospital, Kyiv
Before I joined the National Guard I was in the 16th sotnya of Maidan Self-Defense. Before the revolution I had been a common businessman from Kyiv. I am divorced. My daughter is a student at Kyiv-Mohyla academy, and my son is in Suvorov military school.
I did my military service where I received good training, and before sending us to the East, they prepared us really well. My battalion was sent to Slavyansk. We all knew what we were fighting for. To protect our homeland. When you are there, you stop being afraid of danger and death. The only thing you dread is treason on the part of your commandment. This is what you are most afraid of.
However, I didn’t fight for a long time. I got wounded 29 May, on the same day when the helicopter with general Kulchitsky was shot down. We saw it explode and we all screamed in terror. He was a real battlefield general, whose arrival was much awaited by everybody. He looked like a real officer, smelling of expensive cologne. He would embrace us in spite of our sweat and dirt. If all the commanders were like him, we would have won the war a long time ago.
When we were removing the bodies we ran across something. When I came round, I couldn’t feel my limbs. It turned out to be a major fracture of a neck-bone. Those five months in hospital proved to be more dreadful than the time spent in the ATO zone. Everything in the battlefield used to be clear and well-organized. I felt that I was needed there and here you just lie in bed as a vegetable only to see new guys being brought in. As soon as I could move and stand up, I started help my ward-mates.
I was neither abandoned nor forgotten after I got wounded. The money I used to get during the first period of my service was mere chicken feed, but when I ended up in hospital, they paid me for my battle experience, as well as sick leave and treatment. The battalion commandment paid me a personal visit. So far I can’t jump, even from the chair, but once I get well I will go straight back to the frontline.