"When leaving Crimea, we were sheltered by Crimean Tatars, volunteers and the Pentecostal church," - a paratrooper
After the training center, the guy immediately joined the service in the Crimea, in the 36th coastal defense brigade. Service on the peninsula was extremely interesting, so he decided to sign a military contract with the same unit.
"It was 2012 and just then the presence of the Russian Federation was discernible," says Ivan. "Active propaganda, deliberate glorification of the Russian soldier, as well as a significant difference in monetary and material support subsequently influenced the choice of the future place of service of some Ukrainian servicemen. The traitors who remained to serve the Russian invaders in Crimea were soon sent to remote areas of Russia — to the Chinese border, to Sakhalin Island or to other, as they say, God-forsaken places.
Ivan also remembers 2014 very well, it was a very difficult period in his life. "Green men" blocked the military unit, it was necessary to leave it in small groups.
"Crimean Tatars and local activists helped us a lot," the paratrooper recalls. At that time we lived in all sorts of places, I and my brothers were sheltered by the Pentecostal church. Then volunteers helped with buses so that we could go to mainland Ukraine.
But Ivan did not even think to leave the Army after the experience because hatred for the Russian aggressor gave him even more strength and inspiration to continue serving in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Subsequently, he retrained at the National Academy of Land Forces named after Hetman Petro Sahaidachny as an officer, after which he got into one of the airborne assault brigades, which now performs combat tasks in the area of the JFO.
"I won't talk about the battles for Ukrainian cities and villages in the Donbas, because so much has already been said and written about it that there is practically nothing to add, " the officer says. "One thing is for sure, all those who chose the path of defending their homeland are courageous and selfless people who could have had a completely different life. In the same way, I will serve until we win a victory over the Russian occupier and return all Ukrainian lands.