‘André’ Ukrainian Captain
He has been fighting since 2014, a time in which he has only seen his wife three times, and now he is on the Mykolaiv front with his brother and son.
Captain André likes close combat. Therefore, the version he carries of the AK-47 is one designed for close range shooting. In addition, this military man from Simferopol has equipped the rifle with a silencer that is especially effective in night operations. He has been fighting since 2014, a time in which he has only seen his wife three times, and now he is on the Mykolaiv front with his brother and his son. His way of speaking is just as direct as his behavior on the battlefield.
Are you surprised that the war has dragged on for so long?
– The Russians believed that it would not cost them much to attack and make the Ukraine capitulate. Which would be a matter of days. And, yes, we are a peaceful country. But when someone comes to steal our land and rape and kill women and children, patience runs out and the people unite. We Ukrainians are not going to give up, we will fight until victory. We would have already won if the Europeans had reacted in time, if they had understood that Putin is leading a mafia government that cannot be trusted and is a threat to the entire civilized world.
Their optimism is surprising considering the scarce means they have.
– At the beginning of March we were terrible. The situation was very difficult, because the Russians managed to occupy all of Mykolaiv. Although we were not well prepared for the defense, because we thought that they were going to attack us from the east, we resisted. Not only that: we have recovered different locations and we maintain our positions. They no longer have a chance to advance. But there will still be many victims, because the Russians bomb the cities and torture and execute the civilian population. The world must understand that if Ukraine surrenders, Russia will continue to push through Poland, and perhaps other countries, to satisfy Putin’s imperial ambition. For that, we need heavy artillery that allows us to continue retaking territory without suffering so many casualties.
Do you think Volodymyr Zelensky is the right leader for Ukraine at the moment?
– He is a man I have great respect for. Before becoming president, he had never worked in the field of politics, nor had he had responsibility in the government. But he has earned my respect for how he is leading the country and I trust him. He speaks sincerely and does not hide in a bunker, but comes to the front and visits other cities.
Are you confident in Ukraine’s victory?
– Yes. And I think that later Russia should be attacked. Not because we want retaliation, but because we have to help the Russians to change course, teach them to live differently and help them get out of a dictatorship that condemns them to poverty. Because Russia sells the gas that its citizens do not have and steals the grain that Ukraine and hundreds of millions of people around the world need.