by Sergey PANASHCHUK
27-year-old "Cat" has been serving in the Armed Forces of Ukraine for eight years. A full-scale Russian invasion caught him in Mariupol. Even after the amputation, he held a rifle and defended the city until he and other defenders of Mariupol were ordered to lay down their weapons and "evacuate to the rear of the enemy."
In his exclusive interview with Save UA Media, he talks about his experience.
"We understood that it meant simply surrendering. We were loaded into buses and sent to the detention center in Olenivka. I stayed in captivity for 43 days until June 29. There were interrogations, physical and moral abuse. Personally, I was beaten only once. They used a lot of moral pressure instead. Though the Russian FSB officers were afraid of us; they could not look us in the eye," says the marine.
"Cat" was injured after he decided to check the condition of the car after the shelling, which he and his brothers-in-arms used to transport humanitarian aid to women in labor who were hiding from shelling in bunkers.
"A drone was hanging over me. It must have been very high because it could not be heard or seen. The grenade he threw fell half a meter from me. The leg was torn off immediately. I was able to get the tourniquet and apply it. It took 15 minutes to take me to the hospital. There, doctors said that one of the fragments pierced the lung".
With the equipment the local hospital had under the circumstances, the medics could only say that much. Only after the marine was released from Olenivka and taken to the hospital in Zaporizhzhya did a CT scan reveal a metal piece stuck in the heart, in the pericardium.
"They took it out. I walked with a fragment in my heart for four months and did not feel it."
“Cat" literally lived in hospitals for five months. Despite everything, the marine continues to serve in the Armed Forces and wants to become an instructor to train young soldiers and pass on his combat experience to them.