Ukrainian journalist Illia Berezenko joined the ranks of the Ukrainian territorial defense units in Kyiv, participated in the defense of Kyiv Oblast, and later fought at one of the most difficult positions near Bakhmut in the Donetsk region. He was wounded in November 2022 while holding a position surrounded on three sides. After two months of treatment he returned to the front.In his interviews with censor.net and espresso.tv, translated below, he described how the battles in Bakhmut look like. On some days the Russians tried to advance to Ukrainian positions 3-4 times a day. Although their attempts mostly failed with terrible losses, many Ukrainian servicemen were also killed by Russian artillery and mortar fire, he says.
Journalist Illia Berezenko, like most Ukrainians, woke up to explosions on February 24. “At first, I thought that it was our military training, but with the second explosion, somewhere very close, I realized it had begun.”
When the war started, Berezenko volunteered to join Kyiv’s Territorial Defense. The queue of volunteers was so long that it took two weeks before he actually joined the ranks. Initially, a commander decided to make Berezenko a mortarman, but it turned out that there were no mortars available.