ERR visits front-line Ukrainian medical station

Anton Aleksejev reporting from the Donbas field hospital.
Anton Aleksejev reporting from the Donbas field hospital. Source: ERR

ERR's Ukraine correspondents Anton Aleksejev and Kristjan Svirgsden visited a front line military hospital in Donbas, a patching station where the inured receive immediate aid before undergoing medivac to the rear.

Aleksejev and Svirgsden have regularly been providing reportages from the front-line in Ukraine, and after trying to visit a front-line stabilization point, known as a "stabik," earlier in the year, finally got to do so recently.

The earlier attempt came during fierce fighting around the town of Bakhmut, and Ukrainian military personnel forbade Aleksejev and Svirgsden to report from the "Stabik" at that point, as it was simply too hazardous.

The front has receded since then, giving hopeful signs of progress in Ukraine's push-back against invading forces.

This time around Dmõtro, a Ukrainian military medic, told ERR that: "When we established this 'stabik,' the front line was three or four kilometers from here. Now it has shifted seven kilometers away. As you can see, though, artillery fire can still reach us here. Not so much mortar fire, any more, but the larger-caliber guns."

Another medic, Denis, said: "The hardest time was in the winter, when we were on the defensive. It's generally harder to defend. Now we're on the offensive, things are a little easier, even as that no doubt sounds counter-intuitive."

Another Serhii had been wounded that morning on the Bakhmut front, where fierce fighting still rages even as it might not be reported on as much as was the case a few months ago.

Fortunately, Serhii was able to reach the "Stabik" within a few hours of being injured

Dmõtro noted that: "There are a lot of drones in the air, so the evacuation usually takes place after dark. This means that anyone who gets wounded in the morning may have to wait until the evening, for evacuation."

Despite his experience, Serhii told AK he wants to return to the front immediately after being discharged from the hospital.

"Our land has to be defended. They must be driven out of here, and the all will be well," he added.

The "Stabik" also provides aid to enemy injured.

"What can I say... Anatomically speaking, they are very similar to humans, they are just a bit wrong in the head. But we do not treat them any differently. Under the terms of the Geneva Convention, we give all prisoners of war the help they need," Denis said.

While still in harm's way that far forward, the medics insist that they must stay put., "otherwise, the gravely wounded will not reach us alive. We are forced to work near the front line, that is, near our units;" Dmõtro said.

The original AK slot (in Estonian and Ukrainian) is here.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Marko Tooming.

Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera'

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