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Home News You get used to the whistle of bullets fast: a seriously wounded volunteer crawled four kilometers across a mined field in his arms
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You get used to the whistle of bullets fast: a seriously wounded volunteer crawled four kilometers across a mined field in his arms

Photo by Hanna May on Unsplash

“Wormwood -it’s like ammonia. It has such a pungent smell. When I realized I was losing consciousness, I would tear it up and inhale,” recalls 44-year-old volunteer from Kaliningrad Vasily Ch. He is now on the mend and can walk on crutches.

Last fall during a combat mission near Kreminna his unit was ambushed. The man was seriously wounded. His spine was damaged and his legs were broken. But Könick managed to take shelter from the enemy in a concrete drainage reservoir. He spent three days there without food or water, periodically losing consciousness, and on the fourth day he decided to get out to his own people. He crawled almost 4 km through a minefield in his arms;

“At school, I remember reading The Tale of a Real Man. I remember at school I read ‘The tale of a real man’ by Boris Polevoj and admired our pilot who had been crawling for 18 days in winter to the front line,” says Vasili.

Vasiliy Ch. is from Kaliningrad. He has four children. The eldest son is now doing military service, and the eldest daughter is studying at university. The two youngest are still schoolchildren.

Vasiliy could have avoided going to the front line. He worked as a rotational welder and was considered a highly skilled specialist, supervising the territory from Tobolsk to Novy Urengoy;

In September 2022, when partial mobilization began, Vasiliy decided to enlist as a volunteer. He had no combat experience, he did his military service in the Kaliningrad antiaircraft missile regiment.

“But for me the boiling point was the news about men fleeing to Kazakhstan or Georgia. That’s when I finally decided to go,” the man explains his choice.

The military enlistment office asked him to join the Air Defense Forces, but his health condition prevented him from doing so and he was made a driver. Already in October, Vasiliy was delivering ammunition and personnel to the front line.

“You get used to the whistle of bullets quickly, but shells of large caliber are more difficult. For example, a 120mm mortar shell exploded next to me. Every modern blockbuster uses the “slow motion effect. That’s about how it feels in live action. Everything seems to freeze for a moment and begins to stretch like kissel,” Vasiliy tells .

In mid-November, Vasili’s unit received orders to move into position. We left early in the morning, recalls Keunik. The commander’s loafers were in the front and two KamAZs were behind. The second one was driven by Vasili.

As Koenik recalls, they had managed to drive a few kilometers when the shelling started. A direct hit took out the first KamAZ.

“I hit the brakes, the guys rushed to help the wounded, but the shelling did not stop. It was like they were waiting for us. The commander ordered us to move on and we drove another 500 meters and then we were hit,” Vasili recalls. My eyes were cloudy, I couldn’t stand up – my legs had failed.

His comrades-in-arms dragged Könick to a drainpipe underground, where several wounded soldiers were already down;

“We were buried in this pipe, there was very heavy shelling, an APC drove up and started shooting at us with a large-caliber machine gun. Bullets flew through the pipe where we were huddled. It was such an unpleasant moment when you can’t move when death flies 10 cm from your face,” the man told .

Toward evening, fighters who could walk moved out for help. “Me and Guron, a fellow soldier, were the heaviest, the guys couldn’t take us with them, my legs and back were broken, and he also had a bunch of wounds and his face was cut in half by shrapnel,” Vasili continues;

The next night was very hard, according to the volunteer, with drizzling rain, high winds, and Ukrainian troops camped nearby;

“Guron was quite heavy. I encouraged him as much as I could, he was very afraid of being captured. He pulled out a knife and said he would never surrender. In the morning he stopped breathing,” a volunteer said.

He spent the next two days lying down and praying to God that nobody would see him, and on the third day he decided to crawl straight through a minefield to his own people.

“It was hard, but every breath and every elbow move I made for my family. I was saying the names of my four children to myself and remembering that before I left I had promised my wife I would definitely come back. And when I began to faint I found wormwood to help,” Vasiliy said, “and then a miracle happened and I came across a radio. Apparently when our guys were leaving one of the guys dropped his;

The radio was tuned to the wave of Russian military mortar adjusters.

“They heard me, and the guy with the call sign Oper became my guiding thread. He told me where to crawl so I wouldn’t run into trouble with a trip wire. I had to wait out the night in a clearing in the woods. The next morning I crawled again and after about 500 meters I met the guys,” said the volunteer;

By that time, according to the man, he was almost completely exhausted;

“I can’t even describe these emotions. I didn’t even have the strength to rejoice anymore, and I myself almost didn’t understand anything. Only now I’m beginning to realize how lucky I was. The guys loaded me onto a tank and took me to an evacuation site. From there I took a helicopter to the hospital,” he adds.

Now Vasiliy is being treated in a hospital in his native Kaliningrad. He is able to walk on crutches. His wife and children visit him. And sometimes the corrector Opener who became his savior calls him: “The main thing is to get well and we will finish them here anyway;

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