Ukrainian army volunteers
I made part of my trip to the east together with twenty-five volunteers who had enrolled and were allowed to join one of the battalions. Thanks to their friendliness, I could accompany them from the very beginning, when they were bidding farewell to their near and dear ones, and getting to know one another, before they officially joined the battalion’s structures.
It was a striking and joyful experience at the same time. Striking – because I understood very quickly that Ukraine was sending to the east its best-educated people, competent businessmen, students … They represent that “new society” for which the Maidan was fighting. They say “If not us then who”. I cannot believe that some of them may never return.
And, at the same time, I realised again that the morale in an army made up of volunteers is exceptionally high. It was just in front of my eyes that brotherly relations were developing between people who had not known each another the day before. No one was trying to impress anyone else, even though not infrequently the volunteers proved to be experienced soldiers. Unnoticeably we – “journalists from Poland” – became part of that family and the farewell was really moving.
I promised the boys I would come to visit them and hopefully I can keep my promise. And when I come, I will see them all.