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ERR in Ukraine: Soldiers compete to get attention from volunteers

Ukrainain soldiers in the Donbas region.
Ukrainain soldiers in the Donbas region. Source: ERR/Kristjan Svirgsden

Many Ukrainian soldiers fighting to defend their country depend on aid from volunteers. To get it, they first need to draw attention to their specific brigades. ETV show "Aktuaalne kaamera" was on the ground in Ukraine to find out how it all works.

In the areas along the front line, it is common for soldiers to encounter TV crews. This time however, a real motorcade, filmed very professionally by the soldiers themselves, was caught on camera in the middle of a field.

"The video we are filming here now is intended to attract aid for our brigade. It will soon be spring, and the brigade needs more equipment so that we can defend our country. We need ATVs (All-Terrain Vehicles), bikes and drones. We joined the brigade voluntarily, we used to own a cinema studio. We thought our experience could be useful here. People want to know and see who they are helping. I think that what our brigade is doing is worth reporting on," a Ukrainian soldier explained.

At the moment, Ukraine's 93rd Mechanized Brigade "Kholodnyi Yar" is holding back invading Russian troops in the area under Bakhmut. Like Avdiivka and Kupiansk, it is one of the hottest spots on the eastern front. It is clear that shooting videos feels more like a holiday than a job for the soldiers.

"Vehicles such as ATVs, as well as bags and cars are expendable material on the front. It's not just a walk in the park here. There are kamikaze drones flying and mines falling. One mine is enough to take a car out of duty," another Ukrainian soldier said.

"For example, this ATV here just came in for repairs today. In these conditions it will need repairing again in a week or two at the most," his colleague added.

On the battlefield, the soldiers get straight to work - destroying Russian tanks and other equipment. The enemy is only a few kilometers away.

Almost all Ukrainian brigades depend on the help of volunteers.

"Thanks to the Estonian volunteer organization Ukraina Nimel, for example, we got this car, a Nissan Pathfinder. We got it half a year ago. It was hit by a kamikaze drone, but we repaired it and now it's back in service," said a Ukrainian soldier.

What is the situation under Bakhmut now?

"The situation has been unchanged for the last four months. The enemy is constantly attacking our positions with infantry and also with technical support. So far, they have not been able to break through the front line," a Ukrainian soldier explained.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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