According to ATO participants, it would have been possible to avoid numerous casualties when conducting the anti-terrorist operations. However, an inside source is continuously releasing information to separatists.
In the capital’s military hospital [in Kyiv] there are currently close to fifty soldiers who were wounded in battles that took place in Slovyansk; and close to thirty more are in hospital in the town of Irpen. Almost all of the soldiers ended up in a hospital after a large-scale operation near Slovyansk, at the beginning of June. At that time soldiers were not even able to enter the city – they were fired on as they approached.
Major Oleksandr Maliarchuk was taking part in the Operation, on 3 June, when his leg was injured by a BTR (armored personnel carrier). He states that separatists were well aware of the plans of Ukrainian forces: “There are many traitors among Ministry of Defence officials, who sell information – causing a leak,” says Maliarchuk.
An anti-tank missile hit the BTR as it was was being driven by a Ukrainian soldier. Only he and one comrade survived. The Major says that on that day they had survived two ambushes. They were unable to make it through a third one, but were expecting aid: “We were waiting for assistance from the air force. But it seemed that they were busy with something else, and so we were stopped and the enemy had started firing anti-tank missiles at us.”
The soldiers are rushing the doctors as much as possible, as they want to get back to battle. They say that all the soldiers are dreaming of the day when the ATO will finally be victorious; when the order to start eliminating the remaining separatist forces in Slovyansk will be given. These fighters believe that they need to be given “just one order, and everything can be taken care of in just two days.”
Translated by Olena Khomenok, edited by Jon Barrow
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