The fate of sapper-reconnaissance man Ihor was such that at the age of 26, he has already managed to pass serious life tests and to do a lot of useful things for his country.
The usual biography of a young man from Odesa region underwent significant changes in 2013 during the Revolution of Dignity. Then, together with his like-minded people, he plunged into the struggle against corrupt authorities and upholding European values. Despite his rather young age, he was only 16 years old at the time, he took an active part in the creation of the “Right Sector” branch in Odesa. In May 2014, together with other activists, he stopped the “Russian world” in the city, fought against manifestations of collaborationism and separatism, helped the Ukrainian army. When it seemed that the worst was over and he could do other things, Igor decided to continue his studies. He entered the Odesa National Law Academy. But all plans were ruined by the large-scale invasion of Russian invaders. The guy did not hesitate to join the army, because he understood that only there he could help his homeland. Since March, Ihor has been on the front line in one of the mechanized units as a sapper-reconnaissance man. He told ArmyInform correspondent about the exams that he and his sworn brothers had to pass during 10 months of fierce war.
It should be noted that Ihor had no military training, so he had to master a new specialty in a short time. He passed the basic course of a sapper-reconnaissance man. He learned not only the skills of demining, engineering reconnaissance, the use of mines and explosives, but also the possession of various weapons: assault rifle, machine gun, grenade launcher. But, as Ihor recalls, real experience and skills came only during combat missions.
There, you learn in conditions that are impossible to create at a training ground or in a classroom, – the warrior shares his impressions, – When you see a mine or a tripwire directly during a combat mission, you understand that any mistake will cost you your life. This is a completely different psychological load that you need to overcome to cope with your work.
Ihor told about the first baptism of fire, which took place in early spring in the southern direction of the frontline. The scouts received a task to establish interaction and adjust joint actions with one of the neighbouring units.
We went to the designated area, but unexpectedly came under dense mortar fire, – Ihor recalls, – I cannot say that 120-mm mines were falling close enough, but it was the first time for me, and my adrenaline was going off scale. Fortunately, there were no losses and wounded, we managed to complete the task. The main thing is that I managed to overcome my fear and understood how to act in difficult conditions.
With each new task, the experience and practical skills of a young sapper-reconnaissance man increased. For the guys, any advance to the front line, “grey zone” or behind enemy lines is associated with risk and danger.
You have to be constantly vigilant and concentrated, – Ihor shares his experience, – Usually I have to go ahead of the group in order not to miss a mine or booby trap. racists set them in the most unexpected places, using various unpleasant “surprises”. They mine not only the terrain but also vehicles, houses, premises, yards, weapons, even the bodies of the dead and their belongings. They use the whole range of anti-personnel and anti-tank mines. Anti-personnel mines that react to movement, oscillation, pressure are very dangerous. We have to handle them very carefully. We try to neutralize anti-tank mines with the help of a cat. We hook the mine on the cable and pull it. If a grenade or an anti-personnel mine is hidden under it, they explode all together. When there are a lot of anti-tank mines, we neutralize them by detonating a “VOG” or other grenade, – Ihor adds.
The sapper and his comrades have already carried out dozens of demining operations, hundreds of neutralized ammunition. But, according to the warrior, during combat actions, he has to be not only a sapper.
Each reconnaissance man from our unit is almost a “universal soldier”, – Ihor says, – We have all standard weapons, including 60-mm mortars, grenade launchers and heavy machine guns. We can conduct aerial reconnaissance and adjust artillery fire. Therefore, we are actively involved during offensive operations, supporting the actions of mechanized units.
Ihor is very proud of his participation in one of the successful operations during the liberation of Kherson region. Then, one of the units was assigned a task to cross the river Ingulets to seize a bridgehead on the opposite bank. Reconnaissance men were engaged to divert the attention of the occupants from the direction of the main attack.
We had to depict a false attack in another place, 5 kilometers away from the city of breakthrough. Moreover, it was necessary to do it in such a way that the enemy really believed that the offensive was taking place in this place and brought all available forces there. We conducted reconnaissance of the area in advance, identified weak areas of the invaders’ defense, determined the routes of advance and retreat. Our choice fell on the village of Kalynivske near Snihurivka. It turned out that the headquarters of the occupants’ battalion was located there, and we decided to simulate a false offensive in its direction.
Eight scouts took part in the operation. They divided into three mobile firing groups. They attacked simultaneously from different directions so that the enemy had the impression that they were attacked by large forces. Each group had its own firepower. The first, in which Ihor was, fired from a 60-mm mortar, the second – from LNG, the third – from a heavy machine gun. Artillery support was provided by a 152-mm SAU 2S3 “Acacia”.
We covertly approached the designated borders and opened heavy fire on the enemy positions. The density of fire due to the use of various firearms was quite high, so the occupants really believed that they were going to be attacked. Their panic mood was reinforced by the accurate shooting of the SAU at their opponent. They began to chaotically respond with mortars and tanks, but did not know where we were, and most of the shells and mines fell into the void. Meanwhile, the main forces crossed the Ingulets River almost without obstacles and took a bridgehead on the opposite bank.
By the way, on the eve of this operation, there was an event that almost jeopardized Ihor’s participation in this important task.
It so happened that we came under accidental rocket fire from S-300 systems. When he was running to the shelter with everyone else, he cut his leg. The wound was very unpleasant, but I had to somehow get out of the situation. Instead of boots, he put on rubber slippers and taped them to his leg. It looked a bit comical, but thanks to this he was able to move normally and not feel pain from the cut. The main thing is that our plan worked 100% and we were able to mislead the enemy. If Rashists knew that only 8 men are fighting against the whole battalion, they would act differently, more aggressively and confidently.
However, for reconnaissance men, such format of work is a common thing. Not only quantity is decisive in war, but also ingenuity and resourcefulness. In this regard, Ihor recalled how they drove two cars and two motorcycles to the village, which was in the “grey zone”, and from there opened fire on the positions of the occupants from the LNG located in the back of a pickup truck. The enemy thought that the Ukrainian Armed Forces entered the village and did not even try to counterattack. And the next day, our defense forces freely entered the village and entrenched themselves there.
Now, Ihor and his comrades-in-arms continue to destroy the enemy on another, no less difficult direction of defence. According to the sapper-reconnaissance man, the enemy is trying to advance here at the expense of infantry assault actions, as well as dense artillery fire. But scouts find effective counteraction to this tactic as well.
Our advantage is in motivation. We are fighting for our country, for our families, for the right to live in a normal civilized world. Therefore, we will definitely win!
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SOURCE = ArmyInform
Translated with DeepL