Espreso. Global

Heroes of Ukraine. Senior soldier Viktor together with his comrades destroyed dozens of Russian equipment with M777 guns

3 March, 2023 Friday

During the year of the full-scale Russian invasion, Viktor served in aerial reconnaissance, with American guns, and now he tells about the brigade units’ operation on the front line

Espreso TV tells Viktor’s story.

His father set an example for him to join the army

Viktor is a senior soldier with the 45th separate artillery brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He joined the army after the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. In civilian life, he worked with cameras and drones. He shot videos, edited them, and created commercials. He continued his work in the army.

"The news was always saying that Kyiv needed people who could fly drones," Viktor recalls. "In civilian life, I was shooting videos and doing aerial photography. So I went to the military enlistment office and told them what I could do. Besides, I had recently completed my military service. My father also gave me the impetus to join the army. He served in Afghanistan and returned to service in his sixties. He became an example for me." 

Viktor is a computer science teacher by profession. In civilian life, he worked for 6 months at the Ternopil Rehabilitation Center for the Disabled. Unfortunately, according to the soldier, the salary was not sufficient, so he had to change something. Viktor worked abroad for several years, and then became interested in videography. A year before the full-scale war, he had just started working in Ukraine. But that didn't stop him, and in the first days of the full-scale invasion, Viktor was already at the military registration and enlistment office. 

"I more or less understood what awaited me in the army, because I did my conscript service in 2016," says Viktor. "There was nothing new for me in the training. We practiced aiming guns and at the same time worked on a busola. This is a device that helps to orient the gun before firing to hit the target. I studied this while serving in the army. It so happened that there were no instructors then, and I was the only one who had experience with this device. So I had to teach others."

The brigade eliminated dozens of Russian soldiers within 20 minutes

Soon Viktor was already at the frontline. His first deployment was to the Zaporizhzhia region. As a reconnaissance man. The job was close to civilian life, as he worked with a drone. 

"I went with a group on combat missions," Viktor says about his work. "Since I was new, I worked as an assistant at first. I got familiar with their work. After all, just shooting video is not quite the same as flying a drone and scouting enemy territory. So I traveled with them and learned. We were given tasks, a vehicle and a drone to go on missions. We made up our own route, thought about where to stand, where to deploy the drone, and where we would fly."

During Viktor's first combat mission, Russian troops launched mortar fire on their positions. They had just arrived, laid out, took off and Russian soldiers started shooting. 

"We arrived at the infantry positions and the shelling started,” Viktor says. “We were all lying down and then realized that no one was piloting the drone, it was just hovering. Five minutes passed and an infantryman came out of the dugout and said, "Get up, the shelling is over.” I said, “What do you mean “get up”, the shelling just came very close.” They replied, “Once you live here for a while, you’ll get used to it. “I had never experienced such a thing before, but for them it was common. I was very surprised by this. How can it be normal when you can die at any moment?" 

When I work, I forget that I am on the front line

While working with drones, Viktor had to reconnoiter the territory controlled by Russian troops on many occasions. Or to adjust fire. 

"Drones next to artillery are very important. They can reduce the number and accuracy of shots tenfold," Viktor emphasizes. "Accordingly, the rate of destruction and the number of shots changes. For artillery, this is an inseparable thing. Working without aerial reconnaissance is like throwing money down the drain. About a hundred shells to destroy a target used to be the norm, but now it's a great luxury. And if there are adjustments, we can destroy the target with ten shells." 

During the full-scale Russian war, Viktor had to work in south and east Ukraine. In addition to drones, he also mastered the American M777 guns. With the help of these weapons, he managed to destroy more than a dozen equipment units.

"In the Zaporizhzhia region, we were working on an industrial facility where there was a very large concentration of enemy equipment, armored personnel carriers, tanks and fuel trucks," Viktor says about the battle. "More than ten, for sure. We successfully destroyed a large number of these vehicles with our guns. The guys who were scouts had a task to reconnoiter an industrial facility. They flew over, we recorded, photographed, videotaped, analyzed and found that there was a lot of equipment there. We pointed several guns at them and destroyed a large amount of equipment within 20 minutes. Usually, in most cases, we managed to destroy the target. Because with the help of drones, we can operate quickly and accurately." 

After his combat successes at the front line, Viktor managed to return to his favorite profession. Now he uses his camera to film the work of the military on the front line. Together with his commander, they created the "Clean Thursday" column. Every week, they visited one of the frontline units and talked about the soldiers who are destroying the occupying forces on Ukrainian soil. By the fall of 2022, he had traveled the entire front line and spoke about the work of each unit. Viktor is modest about his own contribution at the front line. His commander talks about the soldier's courage and enthusiasm.

"When Viktor is working, he forgets that he is on the front line," says Vsevolod Kazmiruk, the brigade's press officer. "There are very few people who can capture emotions. And he does this job flawlessly. He tries to convey the atmosphere of the front line through the camera lens as much as possible. I remember the moment when correspondents from France arrived in the summer. We went with them to the combat positions and approached the cannon. After the first shot was fired, they were already a hundred meters away, and Viktor was filming a live shot under the cannon. He is constantly on the front line under fire. Shelling or not, he's filming."

All photos: 45th separate artillery brigade

"I work with faith in victory," Viktor emphasizes, "so I work to make Ukrainians aware of our soldiers who are fighting the occupiers. We have to talk about our work, about our brave soldiers who are fighting against all odds. No one will do it for us. We are trying to convey that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are not a phenomenon that appeared out of nowhere and protects us. These are ordinary people who yesterday were doctors, attorneys, and lawyers, and now they are working with guns and assault rifles in their hands, in the trenches, protecting people." 

Today, Viktor is proud to serve in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and to contribute to Ukraine’s victory. He is confident in the country’s victory.

"Once we win this war, I will definitely respect myself for my choice," Viktor is convinced. “I believe that every person born in Ukraine is obliged to do everything to help win this war. I am not saying that everyone has to join the Armed Forces. Those who are braver go to war, and those who are not so brave should try to help as much as possible where they are. In this area or in the place where they can do it." 

Read also:
  • News
2024, Saturday
2 March
Aircraft carrier for drones to be built in Black Sea by Portugal’s request
Putin breaks golden rule of intelligence: expert on publication of Bundeswehr talks about Taurus strike on Crimea bridge
Crimea bridge is primary strategic target to be destroyed - British Colonel Grant
Ukraine shoots down another Russian Su-34 fighter jet
Ukrainian army targets 336 Russian soldiers and 258 UAVs in Tavria sector
Russia signals readiness to hand over bodies of POWs from IL-76: Ukrainian military intelligence responds
Russia’s attack on Odesa leaves at least 7 killed, including 2 children
"Better give Ukraine weapons than send troops" - Polish Defense Minister
Kremlin played it safe with its main opponent - Feygin on Navalny's murder
Putin perceives West as very weak — British Colonel Grant
Bedbugs in Paris: Russian agents spread panic, link it to Ukrainian refugees
Russia sends battalion for assaults every day - Ukrainian military on fighting in Kreminna sector
Substation supplying three defense plants explodes in Yekaterinburg, Russia
Russian drones attack Kharkiv and Odesa, killing at least 5, including child
Russia announces test of Yars ballistic missile to scare West, force it to cut Ukraine aid - ISW
Operation on Tendra Spit, where Ukrainian spec ops soldiers died, had no strategic or tactical value - Major General Kryvonos
Map of fighting in Bakhmut sector
NATO in Ukraine. Repulsing attacks in Zaporizhzhia region, situation in Avdiivka. Weekly military results 
Ukraine’s demographic apocalypse: millions of refugees, war losses and how to address population challenges
"A lot depends on commander": Syrskyi explains why some AFU brigades fail to hold line
Argentina donates two Russian-built military helicopters to Ukraine
Russian army loses 14 tanks, 47 artillery systems, 960 troops per day - Ukraine's General Staff
Russian night attack: air defense forces destroy 14 of 17 Russian Shahed drones
"Ukraine needs to boost its air shield": Zelenskyy reacts to Russia's night attack
Explosion in St. Petersburg: Russian media claim UAV hit building
2024, Friday
1 March
Victorious news on 737th day of war: destroyed Russian equipment near Synkivka, explosions in Crimea
Putin is too old to build regime 2.0
Ukrainian soldiers target elite Russian assault group in Avdiivka sector
Russian army tries to break through Ukraine's defense 25 times in Novopavlivka sector
France destroys Putin's 'red lines' - analyst of National Institute for Strategic Studies
Ukraine's army shoots down 228 UAVs in February, including 116 Lancets
Netherlands announces new military aid package for Ukraine: what it includes
Navalny's murder might motivate resistance, radicalise protests in Russia — sociologist Eidman
NATO: Putin's threats to use nuclear weapons is psychological intimidation
Russian missiles attacks Donetsk region, injuring civilians, damaging police station, hospital, kindergartens
Ukraine, Netherlands sign security agreement: what does it provide for?
Map of fighting in Marinka sector
Under heavy fire: Ukrainian officer on situation in Marinka sector
Frozen Russian assets won't replace US aid to Ukraine - Treasury Secretary Yellen
Why Scholz is hesitant to transfer Taurus to Ukraine?
Russian troops bomb residential buildings in Zaporizhzhia region, killing civilian man
Measuring temperature in chamber: diplomat on China's special envoy's trip to number of countries
More news