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Major Vitaly Dubinyak and his battalion crossed the Russian border in the early hours on Monday.
“We had to fight back without fuel or ammunition for two weeks. We were running of food and did not have even packed lunches left. The soldiers were more exhausted by hopelessness and desperation than by fire,” Dubinyak, who is staying at a temporary camp in Rostov regions together with his soldiers, said.
A total of 438 Ukrainian troops, including from the 72nd motorized brigade, as well as the Ukrainian border service, asked Russian border guards to let them cross into Russian territory. The Russians opened a safe corridor for them.
Dubinyak was surprised by Russians’ good attitude to him and his subordinates.
“Honestly, we did not expect such an attitude to us. They treated us like brothers so to speak. Those who issue us orders at the top are lying when they say that we are fighting against Russia. None of the Russians did even frown upon us. They understand that we are in trouble and that we are just the hostages of this situation,” the Ukrainian commander said.
Major Dubinayk said Russian doctors had helped the wounded and offered all the servicemen to undergo a medical checkup.
“They gave us food. We took a bath for the first time in the past month. Then, we were given clean clothes and had rest. I am sure that those who have been through this carnage once will never go to this slaughter again,” Major Dubinyak stressed.
He saved the lives of his soldiers and said to them, “Now, let them fight themselves and send their sons to die. We have had enough.”
“If they think we are dead, they should not count on us any longer,” Dubinyak stressed.
He admitted the hostilities in southeast Ukraine had turned into a civil war.
“Of course, I do not know how I am going to look into the eyes of the mothers of my dead boys. But what I know for sure is that this civil war should be stopped. I have seen the tears of the local people and the suffering of my boys. I am fed up with that. The most important thing is that we are alive. We are going to sort other things out when we return home,” Dubinyak said.