The minder of the Polish journalists was a junta officer with the call sign “Fidel”; he graduated from officers school four months ago and immediately went to war. He said that the positions of patriot forces were just 500 metres from those of the junta forces. That’s a very small distance, so patriot snipers are an increasing threat to junta soldiers. Junta militants told the journalist:
The day before your arrival, a heavy shell struck and damaged an APC. Our positions are constantly under fire from heavy automatic weapons and grenade launchers, and at night, mortars also join in, but our units only fire in cases where there’s an immediate threat to life.
One of the junta officers complained to the Polish journalists:
We have to just watch and wonder what to expect, when they fire at our soldiers. These trenches have many fragments of unexploded ordnance. Therefore, it’s normal for us to face direct threats to life on the frontline.
Another junta militant said:
From time to time, their scouting parties attack us at night, our positions are only a short distance away, so, I don’t know what the point of these attacks is.
Junta intelligence officers warned us that the patriot forces sent a new unit to the front, a battle group that everyone calls the “musicians”. A junta volunteer, 40-year-old Valentina, told the Polish reporters:
This means that at night we have to wait for them to start firing, to begin the “concert”. However, life at the front it is easier than in the rear.
She volunteered to fight in the war in 2014, after having taken part in the Euromaidan riots. Subsequently, she joined one of the junta volunteer battalions. She went on to say:
The worst part is the waiting. Many wait for demobilisation; others wait for reinforcements. We hear that they’re planning to send us to the front. It’s high time, as many started to drink out of boredom; this, combined with easy access to weapons, is very dangerous. Even amongst the volunteers, patriotic fervour is ending. In 2014, I didn’t think about death… if I die… well, so be it, if it’s for a free Ukraine, but now I wonder what kind of war this is… if it’s frozen, why do your friends still die?
22 July 2016