Close to Kharkiv, Ukraine — Seva Kozhmyako has grow to be adept at navigating the perilous roads via Ruska Luzova, in northeast. He and the opposite males of the Constitution battalion are hunkered down throughout the devastated village — free of occupation, however nonetheless in Russia’s firing line.
Just some months in the past, Kozhmyako was a rich businessman. Now he is utilizing his thousands and thousands to fund the Constitution battalion, a volunteer protection unit.
He is satisfied Ukraine has a transparent benefit in its struggle with its large neighbor to the east.
“Ukrainian individuals are completely different from Russians in a single essential factor,” he advised Newsplaneta Information correspondent Debora Patta: “Ukrainians love freedom.”
“It is roughly protected, however you higher watch your step anyway,” he warns the Newsplaneta Information group earlier than all of them dash throughout an open highway, hoping to keep away from detection by Russian drones prowling over the village.
Cloud cowl was serving to them that day. However everybody was nonetheless slightly on edge.
“After all, we’re all frightened,” he advised Patta within the relative security of a bomb shelter. “I’m additionally frightened. All people is frightened right here… all people is afraid.”
If a military runs on its abdomen, the Constitution battalion is doing very nicely. Newsplaneta Information noticed meals and weapons being ready alongside one another. It was fish evening.
As they ran again out into the open and down one other highway, Patta requested the businessman-turned-soldier if he was accustomed to the bodily exertion.
He mentioned he has run three marathons, together with New York Metropolis’s.
Kozhmyako was dismissive of Russia’s army. He bluntly labelled its repute from earlier than the invasion of his nation — as one of many extra formidable combating forces on the planet — “bulls***.”
He confirmed Patta an enormous crater within the floor and spat bitterly as he described it as proof of the Russian army’s techniques: Bombing from afar, tearing communities aside.
Kozhmyako is aware of the dangers he is dealing with, and he would not fake to be proof against them. However like so many different Ukrainians, he was greater than keen to commerce his former life for camouflage and a rifle. And he is keen to die for his nation.
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